Look out for telephone ransom scam going around the state

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — According to Chesterfield County Police, a new telephone scam is going around that viewers should be on the lookout for.

Victims have reported receiving calls from unknown suspects who claim that someone known to them, usually a relative, is being held hostage.

The suspect then demands money in exchange for the safe release of the hostage. In some cases, the suspect also threatens to harm the "hostage."

Kendal Smith, who lives in Arlington, Virginia received such a call claiming her father had been kidnapped.


She said the caller told her her father had hit their child with his car and they were holding him until she handed over $1,300.

Fortunately, Smith was able to determine the call was a scam when the suspects called her father to run the same scheme.

"I don't even know how they had the calls connected because at one point I could hear my dad talking and he could hear me talking, but we couldn't necessarily talk to each other," Smith said.

Eventually, Smith's father used a separate phone to call his daughter to determine that everything was okay.

In every other reported case, the alleged hostage has been safe and unaware of the scam call.

So far, victims have seen through this ruse and have not sent the scammers any money.