Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Beware of the Virtual Kidnapping Scam

The Southlake Police Department would like to make Southlake residents aware of an alarming scam that’s making the rounds again in the DFW area. It’s called, “virtual kidnapping” and at least one Southlake parent knows first-hand how terrifying it can be.

Here’s how the scam works. The scammer targets his or her victim at random simply by calling different phone numbers until someone picks up. Once they have a victim on the line they claim to have kidnapped a loved one, typically a child. Next, they try to scare them into pulling money out of their ATM and wiring it to the “virtual kidnapper.”

The scammers use scare tactics and intimidation to try to keep the victims on the line until they wire the cash. Police Chief James Brandon says, “These kinds of scams periodically occur in Texas and other states around the country. The scammers are very good at instilling fear in the person they are calling to get them to do what they want.” Brandon adds, “We want to make our residents aware of scams like this so no one becomes a victim.”

If you receive a call like this, immediately call 9-1-1 that way police can start working to locate the family member and ensure they are safe.

If you have any questions or would like more information we encourage you to call the Southlake Police Department at (817) 748-8114.