FBI Little Rock warns about new Spanish-speaking virtual scam
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The FBI Little Rock office is warning Arkansans about Spanish-speaking scammers that are currently targeting the Natural State, according to our content-sharing partner, KARK-TV.
The scam starts with a victim receiving a phone call from a number they do not know. They proceed to tell them about a loved one who has been kidnapped and can be freed if the victim sends money.
“Virtual kidnappings depend on speed, fear, and the expectation that victims won’t contact law enforcement,” special agent in charge James A. Dawson said. “Scammers know they only have a limited time to receive a ransom before their plot unravels. We want potential victims to contact the FBI immediately so we can identify and disrupt these criminal enterprises.”
The FBI offered these tips to spot a scam phone call:
- Calls are usually made from an international phone number or display an out-of-state area code.
- Scammers may call multiple times to speak with their targeted victims.
- Scammers will go to great lengths to keep you on the phone.
- Virtual kidnappers play recorded screams in the background to make the call sound more realistic.
- Criminals will try to prevent you from calling or locating the “kidnapped” victim.
- Ransom money is only accepted via wire transfer service
The bureau also offers these tips if you get a scam call:
- Stay calm and avoid sharing information about you or your family during the call.
- Request to speak to the victim directly; ask for “proof of life.”
- Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim and ask questions only the victim would know.
- Request the kidnapped victim call back from their cell phone.
- Attempt to contact the victim via their legitimate social media accounts.
- Don’t agree to pay a ransom and never give out any financial information.
If you receive a call like this, contact the FBI immediately. To read the full story, click here.
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