Hostage Scam Targeting Louisiana Residents
It never ceases to amaze me when criminals employ sophisticated and technically challenging methods to get your hard earned money. Seriously, why not put those technical skills to use in a non-illegal way that keeps you on the right side of the law and makes money? According to Louisiana's Attorney General Jeff Landry, the latest sinister scam that's sweeping through the Bayou State most definitely fits into this category.
The first part of this scam is not intelligent, it's just evil and cruel. According to the Leesville Daily Leader, these horrible "people" will call you and tell you that unless you cave to their demands they will hurt a loved one or family member. They may try to convince you that they have already abducted this person. The part that might have you wondering if it's true or not is devious, and requires a bit of technical knowledge. The scammers have reportedly been able to "spoof" the number so that it looks like the call is coming from your loved one's phone. These criminals may have gleaned information from social media in order to convince you that they have been watching the person they intend to hurt. Make sure you are not sharing information about your friends, family, or yourself that could be used against you in this way.
Authorities also say that the best course of action is not to act right away. Ask questions that can help you verify the situation. Don't wire money or go out buying up gift cards to pay the ransom. Do call the police right away if you receive a phone call like this.