Police Warn of Kidnapping Scam

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Newport Beach Police sent out an alert on Saturday about “kidnapping scams,” warning residents, explaining how they work, and what to do if it happens.

Police explained that the scam starts with a call, the suspect claiming that a loved once has been kidnapped. The caller may make threats, demand money, or lead the victim to believe that the loved one is in danger.

“But… is the caller who you think it is? Scammers are good at pretending to be someone they’re not,” the message reads. “They can be convincing: Sometimes using information from social networking sites, or hacking into email accounts, to make it seem more real.”

Authorities recommend that the citizen end the conversation and try to contact the loved one directly or call other friends and family members to ask about the loved one.

Police also warned to never give out personal identifying information, such as bank account or credit card account numbers, to any unknown person.

They also encouraged residents to share this information, others may have not heard of this type of scam.

To report a scam and file a complaint, contact the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint

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  1. Unfortunately my husband wasn’t aware of this scam. Last week he received a call that I was kidnapped and the scum of the earth asked him to go to the bank to withdraw money and go to a Western Union to wire the money to him in Mexico City. This bastard was so convincing that my husband cleaned out his account and wired it him – he was told not to hang up the phone or they would kill me, they are very convincing. He was only able to call me crying asking if I was okay, I told him I was at work and why was he so upset, he then realized he was scammed.