‘Virtual kidnapping' scam reported in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued an alert about a “virtual kidnapping” scam in Kentucky.

A stranger calls and says a family member has been kidnapped and will be harmed unless a ransom is paid.

“As attorney general, it is my top priority to help protect Kentucky families and children from this type of fraud and exploitation,” Beshear said. “As a father of a 6- and 7-year-old, I understand just how terrifying a call like this could be and I am issuing a scam alert to prevent other parents and loved ones from becoming a victim of this horrifying scam.”

Beshear said anyone who receives this type of call should contact their local police or sheriff’s office and follow these steps offered by the FBI:

  • Try to slow down the caller by repeating and writing down their request and say you need time to respond.
  • Ask to speak to the victim or ask the caller to describe the victim and answer a specific question about them.
  • While on the phone with the alleged kidnapper, attempt to secretly call the supposed kidnap victim from another phone.
  • Do not disagree or argue with the caller and try to remain calm.


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