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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

I have had people for the last year threaten to kidnap my children and sell them as sex slaves. Unfortunately they put fear in me and I have been paying them. So far over 30,000. How do I k ow if it's a scam? Who do I contact?

I think this scam is taking things way too far. There
should be a limit in cruelty and it scares me how
evil and sociopathic our society has gotten. Someone
please do something about this. My phone ran out of
battery with these people and I screamed til I coughed
up chunks of blood thinking my dad was being tortured.
Finally contacted him through his girlfriend who got
MAD AT ME for screaming so hard and ruining her evening
with him over a scam. I'm just relieved I still have my
dad who I can't imagine life without.

Hello,
This just happened to me. I texted my kids and had someone call the school. They were fine, but this is unreal and they need to pay dearly.

Mom got a call that her grandson was in trouble and needed money. She asked "Which grandson is this?" (She only has one!) They didn't know and hung up.

I have experienced this type of scam. I was contacted by the scammers. They advised me they had my grand daughter and I heard a child crying asking for help. I was then advised that they wanted ransom money and if I did not comply with their wishes, they would kill my grand daughter. I was told that they would call back in a few minutes to provide me directions as to how to deliver the ransom money. I immediately hung up and contacted my law enforcement authorities. They arrived at my home as the scammer called to provide me with instructions as to how to deliver the money. I had been, and still am estranged from my daughter and son-in-law due to a disagreement. Fortunately, the police arrived and heard the second call come through giving me directions on how to deliver the ransom money. One of the officers radio went off and the scammer hung up. I was in such fear and upset, I could not recollect my own daughter's address, let alone the phone numbers for them. I finally looked at my cell phone and located my son-in-laws number. The police contacted him and requested that he insure my grand daughter was in school and explained what had occurred. Once that was confirmed, they proceeded to the school and advised me they would keep a watch out at their home and my home in the event the scammers had located our place of residence. To date, my daughter and son-in-law accuse me of purposely creating this story to attract attention from them. No, this is not a story, but an actual experience. If this should happen to anyone out there, do not hesitate to contact your authorities. As no one ever knows when these scammers will actually follow through on their demands.

I reported this to police who did nothing except laugh at me

Had a scam like this yesterday. Scammer called my cell phone. A panicky female voice sounding very convincingly like my daughter said Mexican Cartel guys had her in a van, were holding a gun at her head, and wanted money. I managed to stall while I got the local police dispatchers on the line. They interrupted a call in progress on my daughter's cell and confirmed that she was OK, on the way to a concert with her boyfriend. Fast -- and good -- work by the local PD who were very calm and efficient. They said there's a rash of these kinds of scams going on.

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