FBI Warns Western Montanans not to fall for Kidnapping Scam

If you received a call from someone claiming to be holding a son, daughter or grandson or granddaughter for ransom, the FBI is warning that it is most likely a scam.

Public Information Officer from the FBI office in Salt Lake City, Sandra Yi Barker has details.

“The FBI Salt Lake City specifically through our Helena resident agency office, we want to warn the public about an extortion scam called Virtual Kidnapping scam, which can take on several variations,” said Barker. “The scammers recently have been targeting some families in western Montana.”

Barker said several scam attempts have already taken place.

“We have recently received reports of victims getting calls from scammers claiming to have kidnapped their loved one and threatening to harm them unless a ransom is paid,” she said. “In these cases, no one is physically kidnapped, but it’s often traumatic for everyone involved. Many of these calls originate in Mexico.”

Barker provided two examples.

“In one recent incident that we’re aware of a scammer was able to convince a Kalispell man that his son was in danger and defrauded the victim out of thousands of dollars,” she said. “In another case, criminals targeted a woman whose daughter was reported missing out

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