STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sheriff: Scam callers using fake kidnappings to extort money from Klamath County residents

The Klamath County Sheriff's Office says that these calls appear to be coming from a foreign country, possible Mexico.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 5:34 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 5:43 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Scam callers pretending to be with law enforcement, the IRS, or the Social Security Administration are old news these days. According to the Klamath County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), some scammers are now targeting the area with something even more insidious — fake kidnappings.

The agency said that it has received multiple reports from people who received phone calls "indicating their child has been kidnapped and demanding a ransom."

"The reporting parties noted that they heard background screaming and other noise that they believed was recorded," KCSO said.

Calls seemed to be coming from a foreign number with a country code beginning +52. The calls may have originated in Mexico.

"Virtual kidnapping is an extortion scam where a caller pretends to have kidnapped a child or relative and demands payment," KCSO said. "The scammers will often make it appear they know significant details about their loved ones. They threaten extreme violence against the victim and imply that they have hacked your cell phone."

KCSO shared the following tips from the FBI on how to know if you've received a virtual kidnapping scam call:

  • Incoming calls from an outside area code, or foreign telephone number.
  • Calls do not come from the kidnapped victim’s phone.
  • Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone.
  • Callers prevent you from calling or locating the "kidnapped" victim.
  • Ransom money is only accepted via wire transfer service.

If you do receive a virtual kidnapping phone call:

  • Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to the victim directly. Ask, "How do I know my loved one is okay?"
  • If they don’t let you speak to the victim, ask them to describe the victim or describe the vehicle they drive, if applicable.
  • Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim if they speak.
  • Attempt to call, text, or contact the victim via social media. Request the victim call back from his or her cell phone.
  • While staying on the line with alleged kidnappers, try to call the alleged kidnap victim from another phone.

"The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office encourages you to share this information with friends and family members," the agency said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 67°
Brookings
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 63°
Crater Lake
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 62°
Grants Pass
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 66°
Klamath Falls
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 62°
Warming up into the weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events