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Kent County Sheriff's Office warns residents of ransom scam

Kent County Sheriff's Office 05212023
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 16:52:40-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff’s Office wishes to warn community members of a kidnapping scam making the rounds across the country.

We’re told scammers spoof their phone numbers so that a call may appear to be coming from a loved one, through which the scammer will tell the victim that their loved one has been kidnapped and will be shot if money is not forwarded immediately.

The sheriff’s office says scammers will sometimes use the “kidnapped” person’s real name, adding some victims claimed to have heard their loved ones screaming in the background of the call.

These scams usually target middle- to older-aged adults, according to the sheriff’s office.

Recipients of suspected ransom calls are advised to avoid sharing personal information and ask to speak with the “kidnapped” individual. Those who may be unsure of whether or not the ransom call is legitimate should call the “kidnapped” loved one or local authorities, the sheriff’s office says.

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