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Kidnapping Scam via cellphone



DATE: October 24, 2018


Released By: Lt. Steve de la O


RE: Kidnapping Scam


This afternoon a citizen received a phone call on her cellphone stating that her child had been kidnapped with a demand for ransom.  This scam has been occurring more frequently in the area and follows along the lines of a parent receiving a call from Country Code 52 which is Mexico and telling the parent their child has been abducted.  The fake kidnapper will put a someone who sounds like a child on the phone that will yell help or cry out.  This will undoubtedly put the parent into a panic.  The scammer will tell the parent to drive to a bank and withdraw as much cash as possible then head to a Western Union branch to buy a MoneyGram.  In today’s instance the fake kidnappers told the parent not to disconnect the phone call, receive any phone calls or make any phone calls or their child would be harmed.  The scam preys on the fear of the parent and constant threats to harm the child if the parent doesn’t cooperate quickly.   Luckily today’s incident was witnessed by a coworker who called the Sheriff’s Office.  An alert security guard at the bank could also sense something was wrong when the citizen attempted to withdraw money.    We were able to verify the child was safe at school averting any monetary loss and much to the relief of the parent. 


Be wary of unfamiliar phone calls to your cellphone especially calls from Mexico if you don’t have any contacts there.  If you receive one of these calls, alert someone to call 911 immediately to verify your loved one is safe.