News Flash Home
The original item was published from 11/18/2019 8:42:17 AM to 5/18/2020 5:05:02 PM.

News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: November 18, 2019

[ARCHIVED] 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

Sheriff Star

Blue Lake homicide investigation

Posted on: July 3, 2020
Growing marijuana plants

MET search warrant in Honeydew

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Trash on the ground

MET search warrant in Dinsmore

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Sheriff Star

Blue Lake Robbery Investigation

Posted on: June 15, 2020
Sheriff Star

Missing kayaker located deceased

Posted on: June 14, 2020
june4-2

EOD Investigation in Freshwater

Posted on: June 5, 2020
Sheriff Star

Tobacco Road Search Warrant

Posted on: June 3, 2020
Growing marijuana plants

MET Search Warrant in Blocksburg

Posted on: June 2, 2020
GUTHART booking photo

Fort Seward Burglary Investigation

Posted on: May 26, 2020
Processed cannabis in black totes

MET search warrant in Miranda

Posted on: May 18, 2020
Sheriff Star

MET Search Warrant in Honeydew

Posted on: May 14, 2020
Humboldt County Correctional Facility Public Lobby

Inmate visitation to begin Monday

Posted on: May 13, 2020
Sheriff Star

MET serves warrant in Miranda

Posted on: May 11, 2020
Sheriff Star

McKinleyville burglary arrests

Posted on: May 11, 2020
Growing marijuana plants in a green house

MET Search Warrant in Redway

Posted on: May 11, 2020
Growing marijuana plants

MET Serves Warrant in Dinsmore Area

Posted on: April 29, 2020
Sheriff Star

Walnut Drive Stabbing Investigation

Posted on: April 29, 2020
A building with venting

Mattole Road Search Warrant

Posted on: April 28, 2020
Sheriff Star

Missing Hydesville man located

Posted on: April 21, 2020
THOMAS booking photo

Arson arrest in Willow Creek

Posted on: April 20, 2020
Sheriff Star

Stabbing Investigation

Posted on: April 20, 2020
Sheriff Star

Shots Fired Investigation

Posted on: April 13, 2020
MOON booking photo

Stolen vehicle pursuit and arrest

Posted on: April 8, 2020
BERGER booking photo

Hammond Trail assault investigation

Posted on: April 8, 2020
Outside of the animal shelter

Animal Shelter Modified Services

Posted on: March 20, 2020
Outside of the animal shelter

Animal Shelter Modified Services

Posted on: March 20, 2020
Sheriff Star

EOD Investigation at Redwood Acres

Posted on: March 9, 2020
MCLAUGHLIN booking photo

Firearms arrest

Posted on: March 2, 2020
BLAKE booking photo

Attempted murder investigation

Posted on: March 2, 2020
marijuana, firearms, and a ski mask

Traffic stop leads to arrest

Posted on: February 27, 2020
Upton booking photo

Assault with a firearm investigation

Posted on: February 20, 2020
WILLIAMS booking photo

McKinleyville Burglary Arrest

Posted on: February 18, 2020
TANNER booking photo

Ettersburg Homicide Investigation

Posted on: February 18, 2020
An EOD Robot investigates a suspicious object with a sheriff patrol car in the background

EOD Investigation on Humboldt Hill

Posted on: February 14, 2020
PHONE SCAM

Phone scam targets local residents

Posted on: February 13, 2020
ARLOTTA booking photo

Wanted subject Aaron Arlotta arrested

Posted on: February 11, 2020

Stolen vehicle recovery in Willow Creek

Posted on: February 4, 2020

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
Raymond Earl Preschern

Ramey Warrant Arrest - Case 201503461

Posted on: August 24, 2016