You get a phone call that your loved one has been kidnapped. "Do what we say and he won't be hurt."

What do you do?

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Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Bridgeton Police warn of scam

Bridgeton Police say it's typical for the scam caller to demand some sort of ransom during the kidnapping scam, usually in the form of electronic transfers or gift cards.

"The callers typically know the names of family members from viewing social media, data breaches and internet research."

Police say if this happens to you, the first thing you should do is try to check on your loved one immediately. If you need help checking on that loved one, Bridgeton Police say call local police immediately.

Photo by Antoine Barrès on Unsplash
Photo by Antoine Barrès on Unsplash

Scam calls often come from outside the United States

Bridgeton Police say their investigations have found that a lot of these scam calls are coming from Spanish speaking callers located outside the USA.

"Even if the call shows up from a contact you recognize, the caller may be using a 'spoof' app or gained access to your loved one’s WhatsApp, social media account or messaging app."

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

How to protect yourself

Police say scams such as these use social media to obtain information on those they prey on.

Bridgeton Police say to make sure you have privacy settings on your social media accounts so that can't just be accessed by anyone.

They also say used trusted apps as a quick way to check on loved ones' wherabouts.

Also, educate your children on the dangers of social media and online interactions.

If you have questions, contact your local police department.

SOURCE: Bridgeton Police Department

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