Since May 4, police have received three reported cases of what appear to be a trending scam for money. This scam utilizes fear as a catalyst. A parent gets a phone call during a school day and they hear a child crying or a child stating they have been kidnapped. Then, a stranger gets on the phone and tells the parent their child has been abducted and demands ransom for the child’s return. The scammer tells the victim to wire the money to a specific location.
Instinctively, many parents will do whatever it takes to get their sons or daughters back home to safety. The victims may not think about calling their child’s school to verify that they are safe and where they’re supposed to be until it’s too late and realize they have just been swindled.
These scammers will try to keep you on the phone with them so you cannot call police or anyone else and keep your mind distracted and frazzled for fear of your child’s safety. Police encourage any parent who receives a ransom call about their child being abducted to immediately call your child’s school (or the location where they are supposed to be) to verify whether they are, in fact, there.
Financial scams are prevalent in today’s technological and connected society. Scammers target unsuspecting victims through phone calls, e-mails and face-to-face. They prey upon your emotions from excitement and joy to fear and intimidation and the types and styles of ruses are countless. The common thread is that all scammers hope to catch you off-guard and keep you off-balance so you act without thinking and don’t realize what’s happened until your money is already gone.
Many of these incidents go unreported; if you receive a call you believe is a phone scam, report it to police (non-emergency number 703-691-2131). For more information on phone scams and how you can protect yourself, check out this blog post on phone scams: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/whos-that-calling-beware-of-scams-over-the-phone/.