Tuesday, August 1, 2017

San Diegans hit with 'virtual kidnapping' hoaxes for ransom

The voice on the phone demands a ransom for a family member or co-worker who has been kidnapped.
The caller claims armed men from a Mexican drug cartel are outside and will start shooting if the terms aren’t met.
San Diego police said Wednesday that they have gotten reports of similar “virtual kidnapping” hoax threats made to 10 businesses and individuals last week. Some of the calls originated in the Baja California region of Mexico.
...Ransom amounts varied, from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the apparent ability of the victim to pay, Wahl said.
Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune [HERE]. 
So what can you do? Here's some tips from the FBI and NYPD:
  • Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to the victim directly. Ask, “How do I know my loved one is okay?”
  • If they don’t let you speak to the victim, ask them to describe the victim or describe the vehicle they drive, if applicable.
  • Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim if they speak.
  • Attempt to call, text, or contact the victim via social media. Request that the victim call back from his or her cell phone.
  • While staying on the line with alleged kidnappers, try to call the alleged kidnap victim from another 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 directly challenge or argue with the caller. Keep your voice low and steady.
  • Request the kidnapped victim call back from his/her cell phone.
Read more on the tips [HERE].