Parents asked to pay ransom in abduction scam

Bobby Blanchard

The University of Texas Police Department is asking parents to disregard suspicious phone calls demanding a ransom for their kidnapped child. The police have received two reports of this happening, both of which have been scams.

UTPD officer Layne Brewster said in both incidents the parents called their children after receiving the ransom phone call and were able to get in touch with them. In one incident, a father reported the kidnappers had someone impersonate his daughter. He became suspicious when the voice’s accent sounded different.

“He didn’t think that was his daughter, and he was able to get in touch with his daughter after the phone call,” Brewster said.

In this scam, Brewster said the posed kidnappers were not asking for a large amount of money.

“They’re not asking for millions, they’re asking for a low amount of money so parents might go ‘Oh, that’s worth sending, just to make sure,’” Brewster said.

Brewster said if parents find themselves in this situation, they should remain calm and take note of information such as the caller’s phone number, where they are asked to send money and the location of the kidnappers.

“Listen to everything they are saying because any tidbit through the phone, anything parents hear, could possibly assist police,” Brewster said.