Home Crime Phone Scam Alert: Beware of Virtual Kidnapping for Ransom Schemes

Phone Scam Alert: Beware of Virtual Kidnapping for Ransom Schemes


From the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and fbi.gov
SCAM ALERT!

Beware of phone scams that ask for any type of money or threaten to have kidnapped a loved one. Check out this statement made by the FBI to help identify what these scam calls consist of and how to identify that it is a scam.

The FBI wants to prevent you and your loved ones from becoming victims of virtual kidnapping for ransom schemes.

Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: The FBI wants to prevent you and your loved ones from becoming victims of virtual kidnapping for ransom schemes.

Virtual kidnappings happen when victims are coerced over the phone to pay a ransom because they believe a family member has been kidnapped or is at risk of being kidnapped.

No one is actually physically kidnapped in these schemes, but victims like Valerie Sobel say the threats feel frighteningly real…

Valerie Sobel: It took me about three, four days before my hands stopped shaking. It definitely had a very, very bad effect.

Halpern: Perpetrators of these schemes exploit social media and other technology to carry out their crimes.

Supervisory Special Agent Michael Kelley says these prevalent schemes are evolving…

Michael Kelley: The perpetrators of these crimes are becoming more sophisticated. They’re using technology and more sophisticated methods to dupe people into thinking that their loved ones have been kidnapped.

Halpern: If you’re a victim, contact your local FBI field office. To learn indicators of this crime and how to protect yourself, visit www.fbi.gov. I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau with FBI, This Week.

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