Virtual Kidnapping" SCAM.

Potential scenario:

You receive a phone call on your home or cellular phone from an out of area number (or what appears to be local number). The caller states that they have just been involved in a car accident with a family member of yours, who they identify by name.

(Many times this is a family member of driving age, e.g. teen in High School/College, or a family member who is travelling - perpetrator knowing that it may take an extended period of time to verify that they are safe or make contact with them).

At this point, the perpetrator may either demand some form of payment to be wired to them for damages to their vehicle or tell you that they are now holding your family member at gunpoint and aggressively demand that you follow their instructions.

They may tell you that if you contact law enforcement, they will harm your family member.

STEPS TO BE TAKEN AT THIS POINT:

Immediately try (or have someone else try) to make contact with your family member - call school/work/etc  from other phone. or;

from smart phone, PLACE THE CALLER (bad guy) ON SPEAKER AND TEXT YOUR FAMILY MEMBER FROM YOUR PHONE TO VERIFY THEIR SAFETY

DO NOT WIRE or TRANSFER ANY MONEY/GIFT CARDS, etc

Obviously, contact Police immediately if you believe it is a real situation

*The perpetrators of this crime will study social media sites, where they are able to gather detailed information about those who share photos and personal information about family members. Then, with this information, they are able to convince some victims of these calls that this traumatic situation is occurring and needs to be rectified quickly by meeting their demands. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU POST!