Katie and Steve Watson from Coral Springs (South Florida), who almost became victims of fraud with the “kidnapping” of their child, urge other parents to be vigilant.
On Monday, November 26, Katie got a call from an unknown number. In the telephone there was a child crying, then a man’s voice said that her daughter Chloe
had been kidnapped. “He said: Katie, I have your daughter, she’s in the van,” recalls the woman.
In full confidence that it’s either someone’s silly joke, or a fraud, Katie immediately hung up.
“But when I checked my daughter’s location through my phone’s GPS, I felt bad. First, the GPS showed that Chloe was at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, where she was supposed to be, and suddenly the GPS “jumped” to a completely different place in Parkland.”
Katie called her daughter. It turned out that the girl, fortunately, all right: she was in the classroom. What happened to the GPS is not known yet.
The FBI calls such cases ” virtual kidnapping.” Over the years, the scheme has evolved — attackers keep abreast of scientific and technological progress.
“The crook says he kidnapped your family member and demands money. The case of using baby crying is something new,” the feds say.
Here are a few simple tips from the FBI, how not to become a victim of scams:
– In most cases, the best solution is to hang up.
-If you say with an intruder, don’t call the name of the “kidnapped” family member.
-Ask talk to the kidnapped person.
-Ask questions that only the kidnapped person can answers. Ask, for example, what is the name of your pet.
– Try to contact the “kidnapped” themselves — by phone or through social networks.
-If you suspect an actual kidnapping, contact your nearest FBI office or local police Department immediately.