New scam preys on your emotions

DALHART, TX (KFDA) - Most of us would do just about anything for a family member -- and it's that love that has scammers targeting you.

It may sound like a scene right out of a movie -- an unknown caller claiming they've kidnapped one of your loved ones and then demand money or else the family member will be killed.

"They call people and scare them to death," said Interim Dalhart Police Chief, Mike Ford. "It causes people to react to get what the scammer wants, the money is typically asked to be wired."

Ford says this fake kidnapping scheme has been terrorizing residents in Dalhart. The station has received multiple calls, one resident was so shaken up, he almost gave in to the scam.

Even though it's not real, the caller targeting Dalhart did some homework on the city to make them think it is real.

"They give information that makes it sound legitimate," said Ford. "They will give some accurate information about the city and tell you where to go to get money."

Ford says the calls come from an 8688 area code, which is Trinidad South America. However, there are apps that can change the caller's number to any combination.

Luckily there are ways to spot if the call is real or not.

You can first ask to speak with the victim and ask questions such as 'How do I know my loved one is OK?' Ford also suggest to ask questions only the victim would know.

"Information that would confirm if they in fact do or don't have their loved ones," said Ford. "It's a good time to have a security code or some type of safety word for their family to use in cases of emergency."

You can also try to contact your loved one yourself to see if they're safe. If you receive a kidnapping call like this -- be sure to contact your local police.

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