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