Scammers target family of Justin Fareed

Justin Fareed

On the day following Election Day, fraudsters reportedly targeted the family of congressional candidate Justin Fareed in an attempted “Mexican Mafia” kidnapping phone scam.

Fareed’s parents received a phone call Wednesday afternoon from a person claiming to be part of the Mexican Mafia who said Fareed’s sister had been kidnapped, according a press release issued by the congressional campaign. Fareed said his mother heard a female screaming in the background and was led to believe that the screams heard were that of his sister.

Fortunately, the family managed to determine that Fareed’s sister was fine and that the call was a fake, Fareed said. The congressional candidate released a statement describing the experience and thanking sheriff’s officials for providing support.

“It was a horrifying experience for our family to go through,” Fareed said. “I want to thank the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office for their support in this matter. They told us that calls like this are rare, but that we should all be aware of scam artists who seek to prey on the innocent — especially our seniors. This type of scam is another example of why it’s so important to support our law enforcement officers by giving them the tools they need to protect Central Coast families and keep our streets, homes and neighborhoods safe.”

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials have previously warned the public about kidnapping phone scams.

Fareed is currently running for congress for the third consecutive time and challenging now-Rep. Salud Carbajal for the second consecutive time. On Tuesday, Carbajal received 52.6 percent of the vote in a three-way primary race. Fareed received 36.9 percent of the vote.

Even though Carbajal received a majority of the vote, Fareed, the second-place finisher, moves on to challenge the incumbent in the November election.