One of the worst feelings that a parent could possibly have is that their children are in danger. Parents would do anything that they could to protect their children, and that’s just what scammers and con artists are exploiting. A recent report from Greensboro, N.C. details one such scam, and it should serve as a warning to parents and caretakers. Read on to learn more about this con as well as how to avoid ones like it.
Police in Greensboro say that con artists are calling parents and telling them that they’ve kidnapped their child, and the only way to get the child back is by paying a ransom.
According to one report, when the father was on the phone with the alleged kidnappers, he heard a young girl scream and ask for help. The “abductor” then got back onto the phone to demand money. The father said that the voice did not sound like that of his daughter. The police in Greensboro who have looked into these cases, which are becoming more common, have not yet found one where the supposed abductors actually held anyone.
Still, as a parent, answering this type of phone call will send an icy chill up your spine and make you want to take action. The man who answered this particular call, Dr. Hyman, was a dentist. Upon contacting the police, he learned that he was not the only dentist in the area to receive such a phone call. In fact, when he looked deeper into it, he discovered that more than a dozen other dentists in the area had the same thing happen.
The police say that, even though these kidnappings were not real, the callers were quite convincing, causing serious concern among many parents. The callers would take different tactics with some of their calls. Sometimes, they would claim to be corrupt law enforcement. Other times, they would say they were part of a drug cartel. The caller would then provide the worried parents with information about what they had to do in order to ensure the safe return of their child.
The instructions required money, naturally. They said that the parents would have to wire the money to them. They said that only then would they release the child safely. Imagine the fear this put into those parents, and others who go through this same scenario. Often, parents will not think clearly at this stage. They will simply do what the kidnappers tell them to do.
How do the supposed kidnappers have information about the children? While the authorities are not certain, Federal investigators who are looking into the incident believe that the likely scenario is that the callers are getting the information through open resources, as well as through social media sites. Parents, and their children, are not always as careful as they should be with the information they put up on the social networks. The con artists seem to have inside information about the children, which makes their call convincing.
What should parents do?
Because of the fear that parents feel, some will act without doing any further research into their child’s safety. This con can happen anywhere and is not isolated to North Carolina. It emphasizes just how important it is for parents to have knowledge of where their children are at all times. Talk to kids about the con and explain to them that this is why you want to know where they are. Do not frighten them. Just be honest about why you need to know where they will be.
Parents should try their best to remain calm if they were to receive a call such as this. Keep in mind that only a quarter of child abductions will come from someone that they do not know. Most of the time, they are taken by members of the family or friends of the family. Check on the well being of the child before sending any money, and make sure to contact the authorities immediately whether it is an actual or a fake kidnapping. Provide them with as much information as possible.