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Florida Police officials issue warning over Mexican Mafia “virtual kidnapping” phone scam

June 15, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Florida Police officials issue warning over Mexican Mafia “virtual kidnapping” phone scam

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A new phone scam described by the FBI as “virtual kidnapping” has people believing the “Mexican Mafia” has kidnapped a loved one and demands they pay a ransom, the Tallahassee Police Department warned Tuesday.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the scam starts with an international caller stating they are a member of the “Mexican Mafia.”

The caller states they’ve kidnapped a family member who usually lives in another part of the state or country.

Officials said the scammer uses profanity and threatening language while claiming the relative will be harmed if a ransom isn’t paid.

In the background of the call, another actor will yell and cry into the phone and beg “just to give them what they want.”

Police officials said the caller would proceed to demand the victim of the scam go to an ATM and withdraw money, purchase gift cards or provide bank account information.

Authorities say the phone calls often last for hours, which is a tall tell sign the person is a fake kidnapper.

Law enforcement officials say real kidnappers would make their demands and quickly end the call.

Perpetrators opf the scam will also ask for other relatives’ information so they can continue the “virtual kidnapping” scam.

Tallahassee Police Investigation Division urge anyone who receives this call to hang up and dial 911 or call 850-891-4200 to report the scam.

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