Orlando, FL (WESH) — Olympian Rowdy Gaines said he was targeted in a bizarre kidnapping scam with callers saying they were going to kill his daughter.
The legendary swimmer and his wife, Judy, said they were walking to their hotel in Orlando this weekend when they received the call.
Gaines said the caller told him they had his 28-year-old daughter and he had to do as they said.
The call came from his daughter’s phone number.
“We could hear a woman screaming, and him yelling to stop beating them,” Gaines said.
Judy recorded part of the call. When they arrived at the hotel, she pleaded with someone to call police.
Gaines said the caller told him to go to a store and buy gift cards. Gaines said that was when he started to think that maybe the kidnapping was a scam.
He was right. The scam is called virtual kidnapping.
At the same time Gaines was being scammed, his daughter was, as well. To make the whole scam seem more realistic, the scammers put her on the line.
The Gaines’ said Orlando police ended the scam before they paid out any money but their daughter sent the scammers about $700.
Now Gaines is warning others about the virtual kidnapping scam.
“We do not want this to happen to other people. It’s wrong and if we can get anyone to help us express this message and prevent this from happening to them, then we feel like it’s a good thing,” Gaines said.
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