PRINCE GEORGE’S, Md. (WJZ) — The Prince George’s County Police Department is warning county residents about a kidnapping scam.
Police said that the scammers call their victims and state that a loved one has been kidnapped. They demand ransom for their safe return.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.1K New Cases & 15 Deaths Reported Sunday
A statement from PGPD reads:
“In the past month, we’ve received six reports of this scam. In some cases, the victim has paid the ransom. The ransoms are usually more than $1,000. Ransom payments are to be wired internationally. In five of the reported cases, the scammer has spoken Spanish and has targeted Spanish-speaking victims. We do believe there are likely additional victims who have not yet reported the incident to police.”READ MORE: MVA's Bus Driver Day To Streamline Process For Applicants To Get Commercial License
Officials believe that scammers gather personal information about their victims via social media. During the call, the suspects give specific information regarding a loved one including clothing or nicknames.
PGPD is encouraging residents to follow these tips in the event they receive a call:MORE NEWS: Ocean City Promises "Zero Tolerance" For Lawbreakers At Unsanctioned H20i Car Event
- Try to contact the allegedly kidnapped family member and verify their whereabouts.
- Immediately also contact and report this incident to the Prince George’s County Police Department, even if you have verified your family member is safe.
- Save the number they called from.
- Never pay a ransom unless under the direction of law enforcement.
If you have been a victim of this scam, please contact your local police department or call 911.