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Fake Kidnapping Claim Prompts Police Response

A woman withdrew money in response to what turned out to be a fake kidnapping claim over the weekend.

According to police, an unknown man called the woman, saying he had kidnapped her daughter and would harm her unless he received a payment. The woman called police, but not before withdrawing money for a potential ransom payment. Officers located the woman’s daughter and confirmed that the kidnapping claim was a scam, stopping any potential payments to the scammer.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

EXTORTION, 2017-11260099, 5200 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 12:05 p.m. on November 26, police were dispatched to a possible robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that a female victim called the Emergency Communication Center after receiving a threatening phone call from an unknown suspect. The suspect stated that he had kidnapped the victim’s daughter and would harm her unless the victim provided the suspect with money. The arriving officer was able to contact the victim’s daughter and confirm that she was not in danger. The victim had withdrawn money, however, the suspect was unable to provide her with a method for transferring the money as officers had arrived on scene and interrupted the transaction.

Police said the incident followed a pattern seen in similar kidnapping scams that have been reported recently. ACPD offered the following tips for someone who may receive a phone call claiming to be from a kidnapper.

The ACPD wants you to stay safe and be well-informed. To avoid becoming a victim of this extortion scheme, look for the following possible indicators:

  • Calls do not come from the kidnapped victim’s phone
  • Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone
  • Callers prevent you from calling or locating the “kidnapped” victim
  • Ransom money is only accepted via wire transfer service

If you receive a phone call from someone who demands payment of a ransom for a kidnapped victim, contact police immediately.

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