Scammers even impersonate kidnappers

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Imposters will pretend to be anyone to get you to send them money. Recently, reports of the virtual child kidnapping imposter scam have resurfaced. The scam begins with a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped a child in your family. You may even hear sounds of a child in distress in the background. The scammer demands money immediately, often wanting money sent through a wire transfer service or by prepaid card.  The scammer may even insist that you keep the call a secret and not alert the police.  

These calls are fake and law enforcement organizations, like the FBI, are aware of this type of scam.

If you get a call like this, resist the urge to send money immediately, no matter how dramatic the story.  These scammers are good at pressuring you to send money before you have time to think.  How do they know your information? Scammers will search the internet and social media sites to get personal information.

It’s natural to want to check on your child’s safety, even if your head tells you the call is fake. That’s OK. Contact your child or their school directly. Then you can report this fraud at ftc.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: imposter, scam

Comments

Unreal. How can we catch these losers? I'm tired of all the heartache bad people put in our lives. There's got to be a way to stop this? Where are these calls coming from? In USA or out of USA ? Thank you for the heads up

These unscrupulous people need jail time! For a longtime!!! And big fines for the money they have scammed!

That good For them

all of tjese people r on a team one of them was hacking my phone for a long time but i got all thwre names e mails and other info evwrything od mine is jacked so i have no problen blasting them keep a look out for them

my own brother has kidnapped my son I only have to wait he has become aloof now that I ask him to help me find my son . he gave me a dead body which does not resemble my son at all only my son's clothes were on the dead body.

Wow! That is the most frightening of all!

This is so deceitful. Catch them and lock them up. Then throw away the key!

I had this happen a couple of years ago. I knew it was a scam because the friend they used would never e-mail me about it. I let her know and she didn't seem to care at all. I tried to help me. I wanted her to know that someone was using her e-mail. Some people just don't give a rats (_+_). I didn't get a phone call. I don't answer calls I don't know.

My mother-in-law almost got screwed out of 2k. If not for my wife and I getting involved right away. they were also caught. Store cameras were able to indent. them. Please advise your older relatives of this.

If these calls are coming from outside the USA, it's time to put the NSA to good work! They have the equipment, technology and skills to block these kinds of calls. I wonder how many of these scam calls are from terrorist groups trying to raise money?

The NSA are not capable of good work.They can't even spot most of the weapons going through security checkpoints. Sad to say, we need to educate ourselves and rely less on inept bureaucracies to protect us.

Good points!

Job well done. I love the up dates. I hope every one will sign up to vet this information.

Should not the government be responsible for these types...including robo-calls!!! It is really getting bad and napping during the day is not an option! I have a automatic call block system and they get around it by constant changes I am also fear to block legimate calls?

Wouldn't it be nice if someone falsely claiming to kidnap a child (or anyone) for the purpose of scamming be subject to criminal prosecution for kidnapping?! That might cut down on the scammers.

It would be helpful if the FTC would pass along info on how to opt out of informational websites like "White Pages" and others that provide our personal information.

We can help if we work together as one Nation. Keep postings moving across all social media sites. We usually get hits from online. Scammers just keep the Scam Alerts moving use all social media sites let's take these Criminals off the Streets pass the Scam Alerts from the real hard working honest people I know who cares for us all♡ If you're new to the Internet you may fall short but pay attention to those who knows from experience on the web The second they ask for money just hang up! Do not ever send no one money via money gram or others like them hangup! Use your caller ID if it's not a number you know let it go through the recording leave a message mode They usually will just hangup. Follow the instructions to block these people. The Federal Trade Commission has done more work for consumers like us to warn us against people like them. Stop! Look! No information you never give out! I love these people @ the FTC. ♡ a Hugh fan! In my state!!♡

What about the scammers on Skype. It is loaded with them, I was caught in one, but got most of my money back. Lets go after Skype. Thank you

ok im alet

"Should the Government be responsible" ?...... How about everyone using common sense and following the guidelines the FDC just gave us.

Exactly my point! Otherwise we should all move at a CIA or FBI compound. Let's educate our relatives and friends, young or old, that is the best way to combat this.

I recently received a call from the " IRS" from Washington,D.C. What I said to the woman is not repeatable on this website! In fact they called earlier in the day, I thought it might be a call from my Senator that I had written to so I answered. Click, no one there. That same number called back within a few hours. This time the woman said it was a call from the IRS I imagine her ears are still burning from what I said to her. I did not mention here that I was polite about it. I then added the number to my Time Warner call block. The call block has been a God send for me. A half a ring and it hangs up on robo callers..if I don't know the number that comes across my TV I do not answer. It is becoming difficult to keep a land line...

Almost all Cellphone providers give that option as well!!! I know mine does!!! Does a partial ring and straight to voicemail!!! Scammers, debt collectors that harrass you (legit or not), robo-callers, ECT will get blocked... Even if you have a debt nobody is allowed to constantly call you to the point where you are afraid to answer your phone!!!

I use a good rule if I don't know the number I don't pick
The phone home or cell. If I know them I have their number and if it some one new I get their number and put in my phone, I tell them point blank leave a message or I won't return the call. Remember you pay your bills your phone so choose to pick it up or not. If it is important they will leave a message.

I am SO proud that we have a conscientious FTC tracking all this harmful scams.
Thank you for a job well done!

They tried a couple of years ago; I had just talked to daughter who mentioned her daughter was in home. Then call said my granddaughter was in jail in Canada, even had her voice in a partial scream. kept calling. Thank the LORD, I knew it was false!! I notified law, etc. Never knew what happened.

It is more fear when a Probate judge allows a kidnapping because the kidnapped person owns a large estate. The family court is where the estate is hidden and where the kidnapped person is transferred. The Estate does not exist in the records. The person is lost for life and so is the money.

My mom had received a call from a so-called nephew of hers in Latin American telling her that he was traveling to see her in the U.S. She got so excited. And tells her that he bought a real used car and it keeps breaking down. She sent money twice until the nice lady at check cashing said it might be a scam instead. I intervened myself and asked who it was in the family. I face book everyone,and no one knew?y So,she stopped,but lost her money.

Just got call Friday someone saying I won 1.5 million dollars from Publisher Clearing House and Mercedes Benz! Sounds Great Right! Just so happen was talking to daughter who was on speaker! She googled scam and I let these crooks have it. I would see these repeat unknown numbers on my land line because they would call while working. BEWARE OF THIS SCAM!!!

I put both phone numbers in the do not call list, since callers have to scan those calls as whom not to call, I am sure they use that list to call us. Was kind of a stupid idea, I thought they would use to block their calls, too good to be true. Our dear lawmakers probably got paid one way or another by those that wanted our phone numbers, making it look legit!!!AV

The "Do Not Call List" is NOT a call blocker, and it's only observed by legitimate businesses.

Scammers are criminals. Criminals don't care about ignoring some 'list'.

Don't let your emotions blind you! A friend got a call supposedly from her grandson who "was in Philadelphia and in jail! Please help me, Grandma! My lawyer will call you soon. Please, please, Grandma". Then she got a call from "Ralph" with specific instructions: "Go to Western Union, tell them I AM a relative and send $1900 to this address." She did and told WU that the $ was going to a relative and off it went. Then her grandson called saying that , no, he wasn't in Philly nor in jail, he was at home. She went to WU and there was nothing she could do to get her money back. She swore the voice sounded like her grandson's but the emotion clouded her judgement. So you need to call the person that is supposed to be in trouble or call a person that is in daily contact with him/her. DO NOT send your money. You've worked too hard to turn it over to a scam artist who knows how to play on your emotions !

Unfortunately my boyfriend received a scam call march 7,2017. He was told his 87 yr old father called tge cops on an abandoned car near his property and it had drug money and two guns. The scammer told him he needed to make up the money lost and everything would be fine if my boyfriend paid him the amount through moneygram. He mentioned my father inlaws name. He new my boyfriends sisters name who was visiting that day. He knew too much info to be fake. He told him not to hang up till he received money. At a point the call dropped when the guy came back on the phone he said they where ready to shoot up the house. My boyfriend was alone n terrified. He wired the money. So after this event we figured out they called my father inlaws house and chatted him up very friendly like n got my boyfriend number. They must've heard ppl in the house so got extra info that way then teo hrs later the called my boyfriend. Not before calling my father inlaw pretending to be att, they wanted to disconnect they phones since they would work on the phone lines.(we assume to prevent my boyfriend from speaking to his father). We are spanish but the area code for this call was 787. That PR. Number. This is Terrorism. They where using terror to get the money. To imagine the terror so many ppl are feeling this should be treated with this kind of urgency. If this tyoe of call can kill an elderly person who might get such a call. This its awfull. My bofrirnd couldnt think straight he was so desperate. He told me he wouldnt be able to live with him self if something happened and them knowing so much personal info was a chance he couldnt take. Getting some ones public phone number then googling the name can give you some info. This should be addressed before worst things happen. Mu advice is nothing in life is free, no quick money nothing. After tough things happen speak up. Please communication is key. This needs exposure. Enough ppl speak out the more harder is to fool ppl.

The government is is responsible. Our information is not private because of the government. Therefore these criminals have it

It seems that too many companies are able to get around the DO NOT CALL list. I've had my home phone and cell phones on the list for years and we receive calls daily from early morning till evening from companies that have no reason to be calling me. The list was and is a good idea but is not being used to protect the consumer as it was meant to be used. It has become a useless law that only helps the companies buying these lists of numbers. Blocking doesn't help, they all have many numbers they use to call and disrupt your privacy. Please help us and make this law do what it was written to do.

Thank you for alerting me !

Since we're talking about scams, I'll take it a step further. Instead of Craig's List, I listed an item on "Letgo" which is connected to Facebook and other social media sites. I had success selling a vacuum cleaner I no longer needed, so I listed another item. Got a response (message) within minutes, stating they were interested and gave me a phone# to send a text to. I thought that was odd, and I didn't recognize the area code but knew they were not local. They came back and said they definitely wanted the item, and would give me $50 more than asking price if I would "hold" it for them, and that they would send a "certified bank check" and BAM! at that moment I knew it was a scam. I responded, "sorry CASH ONLY. Goodbye." Then deleted the number from my phone. So, beware people --- the scammers are everywhere.

Sometimes the only thing we can count on is "they" will have to answer to a "Higher Authority" when their time comes...

Thanks for support feel safer.

I just received an email with attachment from someone (with a an email provider in France) telling me how I requested payment from her PayPal account and that she has no idea who I am and has already taken the matter to the Police. She has my legal name and an old address of mine. The person demands that I open the attachment (which I didn't!) and contact her to get the matters resolved.

I have never heard of this woman before and obviously did not request payment from her on PayPal. Think this is a new type of scam because it gets you really worked up by mentioning "Police reporting."

I wanted to proper report this but this really doesn't fall under any of the category on FTC site.

I got a call from a man from this number 202_154_8769 telling me that my sister was dead and it was not a joke. I have done been diagnosed with PTSD Where my brother was brutal murdered and dismembered. I was ready to harm my self is there some way that this can be stopped. I'm still receiving calls from the area code 202 please try to find a way to stop this I don't want anyone else to feel like hurting them self I registered with do not contact in 2013 the first call was March 10/2017 and this is what was said

So sick of scammers..got a check in the mail for a survey about western union. Of course I was to deposit the check and keep some for myself but wu the rest to someone back east...they even had the audacity to thank me for my honesty in the matter...after 2 days they emailed me and demanded I deposit the check and do the "job" immediately. I wrote and told them I knew all along the check was stolen and fraudulent and wouldn't be scammed but thanked them for being so stupid to think they could pull it off..NOT!!! I hate scammers and wish I could catch each one!!!

I have been part of a scam like this it coast me $3000 and i am still not sure what have happened but i think they got me good good lesson

The child is kidnapped scheme.happened to me several months ago. In looking up the #.afterwards,it had come from Mexico.
Mine started with a hysterical, crying,young person on the line. I was themselves passed to not one,but two different adult men,all the while w the crying in the background. The men were horrible in their threats,such as,we will start cutting her up and send you the pieces.
Now,I'm had heard of this scam before,and finally got THEM frustrated when I insisted on knowing the child's. They were yelling louder than ever at that point,and I hung up
Even though I was 99.99% sure it was a scam,there was still that .01% . I desparetely made phone calls and.sent messages,and finally heard.from someone
someone,my loved one was ok,it was a scam. Well,yes,it was. That did not change the fact of it being extremely frightening and bad for my health. My blood pressure had shot up due to the insident,and took a good.hour to come back down. Someone could die of a heart attack or stroke due to phone calls like that.
I wanted to report it,and not being sure at the time who to report it to, I called the FBI. Reasonable people.to.call one would think. But oh,no,I then was upset all over again,although to a lesser degree,by their total and complete.lack of concern,interest,or help in referring me to who it should be reported to,
I also was concerned about whatever young person had been hysterical on the phone. Were they alright,or mearly.a really good actress who was a willing part in the scam?

My mother in law received a call demanding 20,000 Because they kidnapped her daughter. The LAPD did not care just said it was a scam and that was it

Most of these scammers are overseas, so it's nearly impossible to catch them in the act, much less extradite them to the US.

52-844-367-8188
Got a call from this number with a girl crying and calling me dad (I do have a daughter) and saying she was kidnapped and put in a van. She then screamed and said something else that I could not understand. Then a mans voice came on a said "that is enough".
He then claimed to have kidnapped my daughter from the university (my daughter is in college) and because she screamed they had to rough her up. He them asked if I wanted to save my daughter and to say "YES". Which I thought was a bit odd but I never said yes but stalled because I remember about another scam where they record you saying "Yes" and then use it as proof that you allowed them to charge your phone number.
He demanded that I go get in my car and go to the bank immediately, do not call the police and do not tell anyone or else they will kill my daughter. He said it was the other guys idea and he did not want to but if I send him money he would let her go.
I asked what he wanted and he asked "How much money do you have in the bank"? When I told him that my wife and I have separate bank accounts (which is not true) and my account only has 200-300 dollars he yelled and threatened again. Then he hung up.
I called police and they say they have had lots of this same type of call. They checked and found my daughter just fine.
I just wish that someday they can find a way to catch these guys and make them suffer as much as they have caused other to suffer.

52-844-367-8188

Same script as the other reports. Called me on 6/7/2017

IT HAPPEN TO ME TODAY THEY SAID THEY KIDNAPPED MY MOM IT WAS HORRIFIC

I just had some girl call my house saying that I have been calling her boyfriend and she asked for my name...And when I looked up her number it was on a known scammers number site does anyone know what this is or how they think this will work?..The number was 302-396-6685

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