Andy and his wife, Bridget, say they recently were victimized by a “virtual kidnapper,” who claimed that he had their daughter and was going to hurt her if the parents didn’t follow his demands. The couple says the horrific nightmare started when Bridget received a call on her cell phone that appeared to be from their daughter, with her name appearing on the phone screen. Believing that the man actually had their daughter, they began to comply with his demands – until 47 minutes later when they learned their daughter was safe and that they were almost victims of a scam.

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Have a story Dr. Phil won't believe?

So how did this attempted scammer call Bridget’s cell phone and make it appear that it was coming from their daughter’s phone? Brad Pfanner, a private investigator, explains the technology that these “virtual kidnappers” use. And, see what happens when Pfanner calls Dr. Phil’s phone. Plus, learn the red flags that you may be the target of a “virtual kidnapper.

On Thursday’s episode of Dr. Phil, hear more from Pfanner, including what you should do if you believe you’re being scammed. Check here to see where you can watch.

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Are you involved in a story that has made the headlines?

8 Tips For Responding To A 'Virtual Kidnapping' Phone Call