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Police Warn of Telephone Kidnap Scam

Suffolk Police say hoax caller tries to get victims to hand over funds.

Suffolk County Police are warning residents about a telephone extortion scam.

The scam is similar to one reported in Nassau County earlier this week.

The department said the scam goes like this:

A resident will receive a telephone call from someone claiming that they know a family member who is somehow in trouble and needs money wired immediately. The caller attempts to pressure the victim to send money without verifying the family member’s whereabouts.

In one scenario, the caller claims that they have just been in a motor vehicle crash with a relative of the victim who refuses to pay for the damage. The caller claims to be holding the relative at gunpoint until the victim pays several thousand dollars.

Other scenarios may include the caller claiming a family member of the victim has been arrested and needs money for bail, or a family member owes someone money. The victim is told to withdraw money from an ATM and the caller will guide them to an institution where they can wire money. The victim is also told he is being watched to ensure he is following directions.

Victims are often randomly selected and the caller is often able to convince the target that the scenario is real.

Suffolk police say there have been a few variations of this scam, but they run pretty much the same way.  the premise is generally the same. They warn residents to first try to independently verify the threatened relative’s whereabouts but not to give out any personal information to the caller. And residents should call police.

Boo December 07, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Gee, isn't kidnapping for money a thriving business south of the border?
K. December 07, 2012 at 01:27 PM
It's also a thriving business North of the Border perpetrated by those FROM South of the Border.
Liliana Nealon December 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
so nice that we don't have any criminals in the USA that are natives. You people live on another planet right?
Taizo December 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Why can't phones have a tracking call app XD
Stefank118 December 07, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Ask the caller to hear the relative on the phone "to make sure they're alright?" if they don't comply... They don't have your relative.
Zeke December 07, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Wake up Lilliana you sound like a typical liberal
Franken Harpo December 07, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Actually, not one person has been kidnapped...read the article again and respond accordingly. Thank you
Hazel Wilkonson the First December 07, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Always with the simpleton attacks, eh, zeke?
Allie's Grandpa December 07, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Actually, K sounds like a typical ignorant moron, while Zeken - consciously - jumps right it to attack anyone challenging such moronic xenophobia. Therefore, the follow-up questions must be: (1) does Zeke really believe that all, or even most, such crimes (if and when they occur) are done by immigrants? and, 2) does Zeke really believe that all people who condemn xenophobia are "typical liberals' (whatever the hell that means)? And, while the 2:00 PM observation of FH is correct, that does not excuse bigotted reactions nor does it diminish the efforts of people responding to such bigotry.
K. December 07, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Re: "Allie's Grandpa" comment: "Phoenix Police Chief Andy Anderson told ABC News of the violent crimes and ruthless tactics spurred by Mexico's drug cartels that have expanded business across the border...kidnappings and other crimes connected to the Mexican drug cartels are quickly spreading across the border, from Texas to California. The majority of the victims are either illegal aliens or connected to the drug trade." - Brian Ross (ABC), 2/11/2009. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6848672&page=1#.UMJQ9q5lhxU And do you really need to name-call?
Stinker December 07, 2012 at 08:48 PM
These comments just kidnapped my intelligence.
John Gruber December 07, 2012 at 08:50 PM
thank god we don't have any WHITE kidnappers or criminals looking to scam people in America!
John Gruber December 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Common sense would tell you all you have to do is ask them how they got your number and that should put an end to that
John Gruber December 07, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Zeke I really don't think you understand the stupidity of that statement, you're basically saying it's typical of liberals to not be racist.
John Gruber December 07, 2012 at 08:56 PM
according to K and Zeke we must all be from south of the border then
Allie's Grandpa December 07, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Let's help out K. So, let's see; NY at its closest point is about 1,900 miles from the Mexican border. So I guess we need to find out if there have been any kidnappings in a circle of beyond, maybe,1,000 miles from the Mexican border. Any kidnappings below that point must be all because of Mexicans, and any kidnappings above that point must be because of Canadians. Naturally there are no real Americans who are carrying out any kidnappings. Thank you K.
Jaguar-Guy December 08, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Great.
Cathy December 09, 2012 at 12:05 PM
what kind of idiot would fall for this?
holly December 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM
My mother in law.
Cathy December 30, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Lol Lisa.

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