[Ed. – This is being labeled “virtual kidnapping,” apparently, but all it is is a fake claim of having kidnapped someone.]
Schools across the U.S. are warning about a scam to convince parents that their children have been kidnapped — even though they haven’t — and to collect ransom money.
Cases of “virtual kidnapping” have been reported over the past two months in Virginia, California, Texas, Arizona and other states. Authorities say the scam often targets the parents of college students, tricking some into paying thousands of dollars and appears to be on the rise nationally.
In many cases, parents receive a call from a stranger who claims to have kidnapped their child, and can often provide the child’s name or other details. Some parents have reported hearing screams or a muffled cry in the background. Then the caller orders parents to wire money in exchange for their child’s release.