Scammers preying on parents in virtual kidnap scheme: FBI

Imagine getting a call that your child has been kidnapped.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a national campaign to educate people about the virtual kidnapping scam.

Officials say callers tell their victims they have kidnapped their child, threatening to kill them if money isn't sent immediately.

In California, someone called a Coachella Valley father using a number with a Mexico area code, claiming to have kidnapped his son.

The man demanded $800 in ransom for his release.

The mother quickly called the school on another phone line and found out their son was there safe and sound.

According to the FBI, many of these schemes originate from within Mexican prisons.

The callers demand the ransom be sent by a wire payment of $2,000 or less because there are legal restrictions for wiring larger amounts across the border.

To protect yourself from the virtual kidnapping scheme, authorities say to limit the amount of information you share about your family on social media, and if someone calls claiming to have abducted your child, don't say your child's name and get someone nearby to call the police.

© 2018 KVUE-TV


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