MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Phone calls are being made nationwide, and they're the kind of calls no parent ever wants to get. On the other line is someone who says the child is in danger -- but FOX6's Contact 6 says it's all a scam!
A week ago, Dr. Mark Hyman received a phone call at work he never thought he'd get.
"The phone call comes in that it's a colleague that wants to speak to you and then all of a sudden you get broadsided by this screaming voice," Dr. Hyman said.
Dr. Hyman has two daughters -- so imagine his horror when he heard this on the other line:
"I hear a young girl scream and they yell 'Daddy they have me' and then a very deep male voice comes on the phone saying 'listen to me carefully -- I have your daughter,'" Dr. Hyman said.
Dr. Hyman says he panicked for a moment, before hanging up and calling police. He was told by investigators that he wasn't the only one that had called about these threatening phone calls.
"Turns out over a dozen of my colleagues were called. Some people didn't have children. Some people had
gotten my email and were prepared for it. Others hadn't gotten the email, had young daughters and were horrified, so it was really frightening," Dr. Hyman said.
Police say the fact that these phone calls come from unfamiliar numbers and not a family member's cell phone is one sign it's a hoax.
Police add that callers will generally try to keep you on the phone to convince you that money needs to be sent immediately.
Dr. Hyman never sent a dime. He says he doesn't know why these phone calls are coming to dentist's offices, but says parents in other professions need to be prepared for a scary call like this as well.
"It's a frightening thing as a parent and as a professional to think somebody would invade your private
space using information like that," Dr. Hyman said.
Police say callers will typically ask people for a wire transfer of money for the safe return of their child, but in many cases, they consider this threat a hoax.
If you do feel like your child is in danger, of course, you shouldn't hesitate to dial 911.