BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Authorities are warning the public about an uptick in the number of ransom scams in our area.

These “Virtual Kidnapping” scams target a victim who is told that a person they know, most often a family member, has been kidnapped and will only be returned if they pay a ransom.

The scammer will even provide personal information about the alleged kidnapping victim, including: name, date of birth, and other details they found through social media sites.

Another version of this scam has the scammer claiming a family member has been arrested, or will be, unless they pay a fine immediately.

Citizens are reminded to be suspicious of anyone requesting money via phone call, texting, or email.

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