My brother-in-law got a call from a woman crying saying “daddy I was beaten up by gangsters. I owe them $900,000 but they’ll accept $50,000 if you send it right now”. The poor guy was distraught. It sounded real to him, since his daughter has a tendancy to get into this sort of trouble (the money kind, not the gangsters beating her up kind). When his wife called my wife to whine about it I told her to tell him its a scam (for one thing, nobody would accept 50,000 in place of 900,000). He was too much in a panic to listen at that point, and ran down the bank. The person at the bank told him to calm down and call his daughter right away. She was fine, of course.
According to the people at the bank, the accounts many of these people use are made using real ID numbers, real names, fake addresses. Rarely any way to track the perpetrators, only the money. I personally would think they could at least get photos of the people when they use an ATM, but I guess not all of them have cameras.
I’ve gotten the call from time to time where a crying girl says “daddy… help me”. I usually just reply with one of my dog’s names. “Kuri? Kuri is that you?”