Saturday afternoon a family member received a call saying that their daughter was kidnaped. The caller even had a female screaming in the background. They also were saying specific threats to make this person believe that it was their daughter. The caller was asking for ransom money. When the Palm Springs Police Department got the phone call they got in contact with the daughter, she was not in any danger. This ended up being a phone call scam to steal money from this family.
This case allows us to warm the public that the purpose of these scams is to steal money from everyday people.
Michael Casavan, Sergeant with the Palm Springs Police Department stated, “A lot of times they ask for a wire transfer from their bank to whatever account. A lot of times it’s to an international account.”
The number calling doesn’t always arise suspicion. Sergeant Casavan said, “It can come from an international line but it can also come from the person’s phone number if they have access to that phone number because they can use that technology to make it seem like it’s coming from that person’s phone.”
This kidnap scam is not the only one around. These phone call scams come in many forms.
For example, Michael Casavan stated by giving this example, “Billy is locked up in jail, we need you to send bail money, he’s down in Tijuana or wherever. And they will have someone in the background that sounds like a young male that might be your nephew or grandson or whatever.”
Many people also receive phone calls referring to their social security. A resident of Rancho Mirage, Rhonda Cunningham, got one of these phone calls just the other day. She said, “They are telling me my social security number is being used or infringed upon, I think that’s the word they used… And so I called the social security office directly. Their machine says there is an ongoing scam right now stating that social security numbers are being used and not to worry.”
With this day and age where information is readily available online, it’s easy for these scammers to access the information they need and use it to their advantage.
The way to avoid being a victim of these scams is to do your own research, question these calls and their credibility. If time seems of the essence, call the police.