LASD News

#FraudFriday- Virtual Kidnapping #Scam


Virtual Kidnapping Scam

#FraudFriday- Virtual Kidnapping #Scam

The scam typically operates as follows: The scammer begins by choosing a phone number at random through various websites, then researches the victim’s background through social media. The scammer will call the unsuspecting victim and tell them a loved one has been kidnapped. The scammer will demand a large amount of money via a money wire or prepaid credit cards such as GreenDot. They then proceed to make horrible threats, insinuating bodily harm will be inflicted on the loved one. At times, the victim may hear a voice in the background yelling for help or crying, making the caller believe it’s their loved one. 

Red flags to look for:
• Callers may have accents 
• Demand you stay on the phone (callers keep you on the phone so you don’t have an opportunity to check up on your loved one)
• Send money or valuables immediately (wiring money or delivering money to a specific location) 

Things to do if you receive a call:
• Contact the person the scammer claimed to have kidnapped, and check on their welfare.
• Contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Local Police department and report the incident. 

Don’t believe everything you hear. Verify the call to see if it’s true before you fall victim to this scam.#LASD