Terrifying Scam Claims Crittenden County Mom Had Been Kidnapped
Police departments all over the country have warned us about a phone scam, where someone claims your family member has been kidnapped. This family received a terrifying phone call just like this, leaving a daughter in tears. Here's what happened yesterday.
New scams are always making rounds, targeting citizens all over the country. We've all been victims of some kind of scam, especially if you own a cell phone or computer. Often scammers try to pull personal details out of us to gain access to our secured accounts by sending malicious links, hoping that we'll click on them. It can look like a real text or email when you receive the link. If anyone is asking for money, it's probably a scam.
Crittenden County Mom Shares Recent Scam
A Crittenden County mother is warning others of a terrifying kidnapping scam that happened to her family this week. When I talked to her yesterday afternoon, she was still shaken up about the experience.
"I just want to share something that just happened to my daughter. She received a phone call that was my cell number and picture so she didn't think much of it. The person on the phone told her, "I have your mom". They told her to go to another room, and don’t call the cops. They proceeded, "I have a gun to her head and I will kill her". When my daughter answered the phone she could hear someone crying and assumed it was me. She kept asking questions and they hung up abruptly. When she tried to "call me back" I was on the phone at work and couldn’t answer her. She proceeded to call my work, where a coworker told me my daughter was on the phone crying and needs me."
I just wanted to let everyone know what scam calls are going around.
Federal Trade Commission Shares Four Signs That It’s a Scam
1. Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government. They might use a real name, like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company, a tech company, or even a charity asking for donations.
They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So the name and number you see might not be real.
2. Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.
They might say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family had an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer.
Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information.
Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.
3. Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.
Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you can’t check out their story.
They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.
4. Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.
They often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back.
Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.
What You Can Do to Avoid a Scam
Block unwanted calls and text messages. Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages.
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Or look up their phone number. Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.
Report Scams to the FTC
If you were scammed or think you saw a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.