Washington – There are countless phone scams claiming victims in Connecticut every day, but Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has asked the FBI to crack down on an especially bold one that involves a  caller claiming to hold a family victim hostage and asking for ransom.

“Several Connecticut residents have fallen victim to this fraud, even though local police have been active in trying to protect the community from this type of crime,” Murphy told the FBI in a letter. “In one instance, local police have alerted providers of money wiring services, like Western Union, to be on the lookout for this type of suspicious situation.”

The perpetrators of this fraud claim the family victim held hostage has been involved in an accident, Murphy said.

“Connecticut’s working families, immigrant communities and senior citizens appear to be the targets of this insidious activity, and our state’s law enforcement could use any help that you might be able to provide in seeing that no more Connecticut residents are tricked out of their hard-earned money,” Murphy told the FBI.

Murphy asked the FBI, “as a first step,” to publish the details of this fraud using the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) network so state and local law enforcement agencies in Connecticut and around the country can be on the lookout.

Murphy’s letter may have packed more punch if it had been co-signed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a panel with jurisdiction over the FBI.

Josh Zembik, spokesman for Blumenthal, said their office was not asked to co-sign.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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