Virtual kidnapping scam triggers Amber Alert

Police doing fine without Backpage

By Greg Collier

Virtual kidnapping scams are one of the more frightening scams that we discuss. If you’re unaware of how the scam works, you could be ticked into believing that a family member or loved one is in grave danger. The con, of course, is to get you to pay a ransom even though the person who was supposedly kidnapped is fine and isn’t aware of what’s going on. Recently, we posted a story about how a virtual kidnapping call resulted in a potentially volatile situation between the victim and a SWAT team. So, while the supposed kidnapping victim is safe, the scam victim could have their well-being put in jeopardy.

One such incident recently happened in Manchester, New Hampshire. A victim received a phone call saying that a woman they knew had been kidnapped. In reality, that woman was away from home with her 4-year-old son. While the details are unclear, this resulted in the Manchester police issuing a statewide Amber Alert for both the mother and child. Part of the alert was a description of the woman’s car. The pair was found unharmed, and the mother was completely unaware of what had transpired. She had to have been shaken up when she was informed of the Amber Alert. Incidents like can end up leaving all victims involved with lasting trauma.

When we first started posting about virtual kidnapping scams, we came across a piece of information that was relayed by law enforcement that we like to remind our readers with these stories. Kidnapping for ransom is very rare in the United States. It seems like it would happen more due to the number of times it appears in TV shows and movies.

If you ever receive one of these calls, stay on the call, but try to get in touch with the person the scammers have claimed to have kidnapped. Ask to speak to the person they’re claiming to hold hostage and ask them a question that only they would know. You should also be suspicious if they try to get you to make the ransom payment through gift cards or money transfers.

Since this scam keeps finding victims and the situations involved are starting to get out of hand, we ask that you please share this story or any virtual kidnapping story with your friends and family. The more people who know about the scam, scammers will find fewer victims.