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: Minor League Baseball Is Back In Maryland After Last Year's Covid Cancellations
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: Baltimore DPW To Provide 190K Free Recycling Carts In New Partnership
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: Donte Lamont Dingle Sentenced To 30 Years For Liquor Store Robberies In Baltimore Area, Anne Arundel County
- 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.