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Sick And Concerning Scam Hitting The Mother Lode

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Sonora, CA – Imagine getting a phone call telling you that a loved one has been kidnapped and then hearing a person screaming while the caller tells you to pay a ransom.

The is the description of a call several people have reported to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s office recently making the rounds. After claiming to have kidnapped a loved one, the scammers then demand a wire transfer, or they threaten to hurt the family member. Sheriff’s officials say what is really disturbing and concerning is that all those contacted by the thieves, report hearing a person screaming in the background of the call.

It is understandable why someone may be tricked into following the scammer’s orders, say sheriff’s detectives, due to the upsetting nature of the call. However, they add do not be fooled, this is a scam. Any stranger asking for money to be wired, personal identifying information, or to purchase gift cards should cause alarm bells to go off, as it is almost certainly a scammer, warn sheriff’s officials. They recommend you hang up and report the call immediately if you receive this startling call to the sheriff’s dispatch center at (209)533-5815.