BOSTON — The Boston Police Department issued a community alert warning elderly residents about a scam involving hoax phone calls claiming that young students from Boston-area schools have been kidnapped and are being held for ransom.
According to authorities, scammers target parents or relatives of students, making false claims that the child is in danger and demanding ransom.
During these calls, crying can often be heard in the background, a tactic used to heighten the urgency and fear.
In recent incidents, no money was transferred, and the children in question were confirmed safe at school.
The Boston Police Department advises those who receive such calls to take the following steps:
– Contact police immediately.
– Attempt to reach the family member through usual means of communication to confirm their safety.
– Request specific details from the caller about the location of the family member.
– Ask the caller to describe the family member physically to verify the caller’s claim.
– Record the phone number from which the call or text originated and report the incident to the police.
The department also urges victims to report any phone or internet fraud scams to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357.