A local phone scam that gained popularity because of its success has started to hit the Burbank area. Local news stations have also covered the scam in recent days. After Burbank residents called the police to report the crime, they put out the following alert to warm residents not to be fooled:
The Burbank Police Department would like to warn the Burbank community about new phone scams that have been occurring in which victims are receiving threatening phone calls in an attempt to scam money from them.
The Burbank Police Department has recently taken reports of citizens receiving phone calls, in which the caller tells them a close family member has been kidnapped, and will be killed unless a ransom is paid.
The suspects give instructions for the citizens to stay on the phone and wire money to a third party, often outside of the country. Another person, claiming to be the kidnapped family member, screams and cries into the phone, begging for help because they are going to be killed. The scam is very alarming and sounds credible to the victim.
In the event someone calls you and claims a family member has been kidnapped, do not send money. Instead, you or someone with you should call the police immediately via 911 or 818-238-3000. Know where your family members should be and phone numbers where they can be reached.