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"Virtual kidnapping" call reported in Oro Valley

"Virtual kidnapping" call reported in Oro Valley
Posted at 1:17 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 16:17:33-04

The Oro Valley Police Department received a report of an apparent "virtual kidnapping" on Monday, according to a news release.

OVPD says a virtual kidnapping involves someone receiving a phone call threatening a family member or friend and demanding a ransom payment while there is screaming or yelling in the background.

Monday's reported case involved a mother receiving a call from a man with a heavy Spanish accent reporting that he kidnapped her daughter. 

The mother told police that she could hear screaming in the background of the call and a woman's voice pleading for help. 

The mother was told by the man to not hang up the phone or her daughter would be harmed. The mother then contacted her daughter with a second telephone and learned that she was fine and not in any harm. 

OVPD reminds the public to be aware of the following if you receive one of these phone calls:

· Under stress conditions, with muffled sounds on the phone, it’s not unusual for people to think they hear their family members when in reality it is not them at all.
· The scammers threaten if you hang up because if you try to verify their story, you would bust their lie. The more the threats should increase your suspicions of a scam.
· If you get a threatening phone call telling you turn your phone off, it is very likely they will contact your family/friends. Notify them immediately of the potential scam attempt in progress.
· If you are concerned about a family member’s/friend’s safety after receiving one of these phone calls, please contact the police as they can assist with locating and verifying their safety.

If you have any questions or concerns, you are asked to call OVPD at 520-229-4900.