Beware! ‘Virtual kidnapping’ scammers threaten to kill ‘hostages’ if their families don’t pay up

A Texas woman is among the most recent targets of a ‘virtual kidnapping’ scam that demands ransom for so-called kidnapping victims, who the scammers claim will be killed.

According to KWTX, Kimberly Garcia of Temple, Texas was having coffee with her husband Sunday morning when she got an ominous text message, claiming that a loved one had been in an accident. It read:

A family member of yours has been involved in a serious car accident can you please call this number.

Garcia was immediately alarmed, since at the time her son was driving from Temple to Austin in bad weather. When she called the number back, the man who picked up the phone threatened to hurt her son.

“He starts yelling at me cursing at me and telling me that he had an accident with my son and it was my son’s fault and that his 10-year-old son was hurt seriously,” Garcia said.

The man told her that he had her son’s phone, and if she tried to contact her son he would shoot him. The scammer demanded that the Garcias wire him $500 in order to ensure their son’s safety.

In the end, the Garcias didn’t fall for it, as they were able to confirm that their son was safe and had not been involved in any accident.

A Virginia woman reported a similar incident in February, when a scammer called to say he was holding her father hostage after he had purportedly been in a car accident. According to Fox D.C., the scammer demanded $4,000 to to release the woman’s father. Fortunately, she was able to confirm her father was safe and did not pay the fake ransom.

Authorities are asking anyone who gets a suspicious call about a family member having been in an accident to contact police right away.


Photo: KWTX video screenshot