‘Virtual Kidnapping’ Scammers Seek Ransom From Affluent SoCal Families

Two Laguna Beach families were the recent targets of a “virtual kidnapping” scam in which they were told one of their children had been abducted and would be killed unless they paid a ransom, police said.

As implausible as the scenario may seem on its face, Laguna Beach police said in one of the two instances it worked with a parent sending the culprit thousands of dollars. But police warned that such scams were not new and that they had been successful before.

“This type of activity is called ‘virtual kidnapping’ and we believe the suspect was able to learn personal information of the victim through unsecured social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.),” Laguna Beach police said in a prepared statement.

On March 7 and then again on March 8, police said, a scammer called two separate families in Laguna Beach and used the same deception.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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