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Fargo Police warn of “kidnapping scam”



Scams are hitting the Valley targeting vulnerable people hoping to help their family members.

A woman contacted Fargo Police after receiving a call telling her that her daughter had been kidnapped. The people on the other end of the line even use a young girl’s voice in the background to convince the woman to send money.

Luckily, she recognized it was a scam.

When Fargo Police put out the message to be cautious of these scams, Jodi Thom in Jamestown said it hit home.

“It’s sad when people lose their life savings to help somebody they think is in real danger,” Thom said.

Her dad who has dementia received a different family emergency scam call earlier in the day.

“They had said that his grandson, and used his name, was in jail and he needed bail money immediately,” Thom said.

Scammers will use the tactic of saying a family member is in danger or needs help to have you react out of emotion telling you someone has been kidnapped, in a car crash, or in Jodi’s Father’s case that a loved one is in jail.

“People seriously need to warn their elderly family members,” Thom said.

Officials say these scammers are going to great lengths to get you to send money.

Slow down and recognize the signs.

The call typically comes from an outside area code, they may try to prevent you from contacting your family member, and they ask for money to be sent through wire transfer services.

“He said once I started asking more questions, they just hung up,” Thom said.

Police urge you to make sure you report these types of calls.

The FBI and the Federal Trade Commission both keep track of “Family Emergency Scams”.