The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a warning to the public regarding a scam labeled “Virtual Kidnappings” that has surfaced locally.
Virtual kidnappings refer to a range of telephonic coercion schemes aimed at extorting quick ransom payments from victims who are manipulated to believe that they or their loved ones have been kidnapped or are at risk of being kidnapped. In these telephonic extortion, no individual is physically kidnapped, and the alleged kidnapped victim is unaware of any extortion threat. Criminal groups request the ransom payment via wire transfer to a location in Mexico.
Virtual kidnappings can often be identified early on during incident response in order to mitigate the fear of victims receiving the phone calls and measure the appropriate response of law enforcement resources.
Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is asked to contact their local law enforcement provider on how to report the incident. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted at (936) 760-5800.