A Great Big City

Update to the 'Virtual Kidnapping' Telephone Scam

Pay phone
Pay phone via edward stojakovic on Flickr

An update to an earlier story about phone scams that claim to have kidnapped one of your loved ones: The San Antonio, Texas FBI office has released a report on these "virtual kidnapping" scams.

The details are similar to what was seen in the Florida story, but the FBI is now seeing an increase in the scam calls targeting physicians. The callers present themselves as drug cartel members or corrupt law enforcement officers, then proceed with the demands for ransom in exchange for the release of your loved one, even going so far as to have screaming in the background.

Thankfully, the FBI report indicates that these calls are probably not coming from within the country, but rather from the same types of out-of-country call centers that also mass call Americans with other scams. There have been no reports of actual kidnappings taking place, but any of these "virtual kidnapping" calls should be reported to the FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.

Read the full FBI report for a list of indications that the call is a scam and actions you can take to prevent becoming a victim.

(Image via edward stojakovic on Flickr)

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