Police have issued a warning for 69 news viewers to be on the lookout for con artists claiming to have kidnapped a relative and are demanding thousands for their release.

Baltazar Martinez from Muhlenberg Twp., Berks Co. received one of those frightening calls recently.

A con artist claimed his brother had been in an accident, was unconscious, and demanded money for his release.

The call turned out to be a fake.

"You wouldn't want to hear that about your relatives," Martinez said.

Investigators also say a Muhlenberg Twp. woman recently received a call that her husband was in a car accident, and criminals wouldn't let him go until his wife forked over some cash.

The woman was told to go to the Giant Store on N. 5th Street Highway and wire the money, authorities said.

Quick work by the police, however, revealed the woman's husband had actually been at work the entire time, and had never been in danger.

Muhlenberg Twp. police say these predatory calls appear to be originating from outside of the country, and they're asking residents to use precaution when accepting phone calls from numbers they do not recognize.