News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: November 18, 2019

Virtual kidnapping for ransom scam targets Humboldt County residents

Scam Alert

Humboldt County residents are once again being targeted by a virtual kidnapping for ransom scam.

This month a local resident reported to Sheriff’s deputies that he received multiple calls from a phone number out of Mexico. The number left voicemails for the resident that contained a child crying and then a subject demanding ransom be paid to free the child.

According to the FBI, this type of scam has been circulating the United States for at least two decades and can cause victims to lose thousands of dollars.

The success of any type of virtual kidnapping scheme depends on speed and fear. To avoid becoming a victim, look for these possible indicators:

  • Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone, insisting you remain on the line.
  • Calls do not come from the supposed victim’s phone.
  • Callers try to prevent you from contacting the “kidnapped” victim.
  • Calls include demands for ransom money to be paid via wire transfer to Mexico.

If you receive a phone call from someone demanding a ransom for an alleged kidnap victim, the following should be considered:

  • In most cases, the best course of action is to hang up the phone.
  • If you do engage the caller, don’t call out your loved one’s name.
  • Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to your family member directly. Ask, “How do I know my loved one is okay?”
  • Ask questions only the alleged kidnap victim would know, such as the name of a pet. Avoid sharing information about yourself or your family.
  • Listen carefully to the voice of the alleged victim if they speak.
  • Attempt to contact the alleged victim via phone, text, or social media, and request that they call back from their cell phone.
  • To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell them you are writing down the demand, or tell the caller you need time to get things moving.
  • Don’t agree to pay a ransom, by wire or in person. Delivering money in person can be dangerous.

If you suspect a real kidnapping is taking place or you believe a ransom demand is a scheme, contact your local law enforcement immediately.

-----

Scam prevention tips provided by the FBI. To find out more information regarding fraud scams and schemes, visit fbi.gov or consumer.ftc.gov

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Sheriff's Office

Stolen vehicle pursuit in McKinleyville

Posted on: January 13, 2020
Sheriff's car is parked while an EOD Robot is utilized

EOD Investigation on Humboldt Hill

Posted on: January 8, 2020
EOD Robot investigates suspicious package on the ground under a stop sign

Suspicious package investigation

Posted on: January 7, 2020
Tree stumps of lumber illegally harvested in a forest

Timber/firewood theft investigation

Posted on: January 6, 2020
TEACH booking photo

Attempted Murder in Bridgeville

Posted on: January 4, 2020

Garberville home invasion armed robbery

Posted on: December 30, 2019
Janeen Jackson Booking Photo

Willow Creek Stabbing Investigation

Posted on: December 30, 2019
lewis booking photo

Felon in possession of a firearm arrest

Posted on: December 23, 2019

Attempted robbery investigation

Posted on: December 18, 2019
FROST booking photo

Possession of stolen vehicle arrest

Posted on: December 13, 2019
Vaping cartridges of butane honey oil

BHO lab investigation in Phillipsville

Posted on: December 12, 2019
Black dog in front of the Humboldt County Animal Shelter sign

Animal Shelter Open House This Weekend!

Posted on: December 12, 2019
OSGOOD booking photo

Stolen Vehicle Recovery near Clam Beach

Posted on: December 6, 2019
CVETKOVIC booking photo

Garberville burglary arrest

Posted on: December 5, 2019
ADKINS Booking Photo

McKinleyville robbery arrest

Posted on: December 4, 2019
Orange tractor

Stolen tractor recovery

Posted on: November 26, 2019
Deputy in a bomb suit renders a live device safe

EOD Investigation at Mad River Beach

Posted on: November 21, 2019
Cannabis in a wood chipper

Sheriff's MET team concludes grant cycle

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Arrests made in child abuse investigation

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Assault with a Deadly Weapon Investigation

Posted on: November 15, 2019
Cows standing in a field

Look out for livestock on county roads

Posted on: November 14, 2019
CULLEN 2

Wanted subject Robert Cullen arrested

Posted on: November 13, 2019

Sprowel Creek Pursuit

Posted on: November 13, 2019
STUCKEY

Fields Landing assault investigation

Posted on: November 13, 2019
MARCELLI

Possession for sales arrest

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Body found near Sawmill Rd.

Posted on: October 30, 2019

PSPS Power shutoff update

Posted on: October 24, 2019

PSPS Power outage information

Posted on: October 24, 2019

Search and Recovery near Garberville

Posted on: October 23, 2019

Robbery in Blue Lake

Posted on: September 10, 2019

Disturbance on Cummings Rd.

Posted on: August 23, 2019

Missing Person investigation

Posted on: August 19, 2019

MET investigation Brannon Mountain

Posted on: August 1, 2019

Arson in Redway

Posted on: July 26, 2019

MET investigation

Posted on: July 25, 2019

Shots fired in McKinleyville

Posted on: July 24, 2019

Marijuana Enforcement near Hyampom

Posted on: July 24, 2019
Raymond Earl Preschern

Ramey Warrant Arrest - Case 201503461

Posted on: August 24, 2016