Denver Woman’s Fight Against Kidnapping Scam: A Cautionary Tale!
In a recent incident in Denver, a woman experienced the terror of a virtual kidnapping scam, highlighting a growing criminal trend that has alarmed authorities and the public alike. The woman received a call from her father’s phone number, which quickly turned into a nightmare when a man threatened to harm her parents unless she sent money.
This harrowing experience is part of what the FBI and Colorado Attorney General are investigating as virtual kidnapping—a scam where criminals use intimidation and deception to extort money from victims by claiming to have kidnapped a loved one.
In this case, the scammer, identifying himself as “Randall,” demanded bank account details or a money transfer through a payment app, falsely claiming it was to save her mother. The victim’s initial belief in the scam’s authenticity was driven by the call appearing to come from her father’s number. However, a follow-up call to her mother and contacting 911 confirmed it was a fraud.
The incident reveals sophisticated deceit, as the scammer accessed the victim’s contact list, indicating a possible personal data breach. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser warns of such scams, emphasizing criminals’ use of high-pressure tactics. He advises the public to avoid impulsive reactions to such threatening calls and to verify the well-being of their loved ones independently.
Virtual kidnapping scams are not just limited to Colorado but are part of a national surge in deceptive criminal activities. According to the FBI, these scams are increasingly common, with perpetrators often targeting vulnerable populations, such as the elderly. The Bureau’s statistics indicate a significant rise in virtual kidnapping reports over the past few years.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office underscores the importance of reporting such scams to enable investigation and prevention. They offer resources for victims and the public to learn about and report fraud at their Fraud Center.
As virtual kidnapping scams become more sophisticated, awareness and caution are crucial in combating this criminal trend. Authorities urge the public to stay informed and vigilant, reminding everyone that a moment of panic can lead to devastating consequences.