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Virtual Kidnapping Scams Take Advantage Of Victim’s Social Media Accounts


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A phone call put quite the fright into a Staten Island family. A caller claimed that their child had been kidnapped.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, it was all a scam, but the incident raised red flags about what you should be posting on social media.

The family called police on Wednesday, after getting a call from a man who claimed to have their daughter, and demanded a ransom.

He reportedly described a shirt she often wore, and mentioned the name of the street where her school is located.

The scammer was calling from Mexico while the girl was safe at school. “It’s horrible. I don’t understand how people can do these things,” Marilyn Cutick said.

The scam is called virtual kidnapping, it has been targeting residents in New York, Nevada, Texas, and California. One woman received a call about her brother.

“How much money you can pay right now, by yourselves so we can let your brother go? When my brother gets back, if I don’t got no answer, my brother gonna shoot this guy,” the caller said.

Callers often demand immediate payment via wire transfer.
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