Kidnapping Scam in Oxnard – Parents asked to wire money for Daughter’s Safety

Oxnard Police Department – Incident Press Release

/On 5/18/19, at around 1:40 p.m., officers responded to Vallarta Market, 1050 South A Street, to investigate a report of a kidnapping.  A family member of the purported victim reported that the mother of the victim received a call from the suspects stating they kidnapped her daughter. The suspects demanded that the mother wire money to ensure her daughter’s safety.  The family informed officers that the mother was currently on her way to Vallarta Market to send money to the suspects. Officers arrived at the market  and located  both the mother and father in the parking lot.  The parents had thousands of dollars in their possession and were preparing to wire the money to the suspects. Officers were eventually able to contact the daughter and confirm that the threats were a phone scam. 

The Oxnard Police Department would like to remind the public about this ongoing phone scam. The public is advised to be suspicious of any telephone call where the caller imposes a problem or crisis and the only solution is to electronically transfer money or purchase a prepaid gift card. If you receive a suspicious phone call of this nature, you are encouraged to report it to law enforcement. These fraudulent schemes can be prevented by remaining well informed, so please share this information with your friends, family, and neighbors.

The FBI provides the following prevention tips.

To avoid becoming a victim of this extortion scheme, look for the following possible indicators:

  • Incoming calls come from an outside area code
  • Calls do not come from the injured or 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 receive a phone call from someone who demands payment of a ransom for a kidnapped victim, the following should be considered:

  • 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 that 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.
  • To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell them you are writing down the demand, or tell the caller you need time to get things moving.
  • Don’t directly challenge or argue with the caller. Keep your voice low and steady.
  • Request the kidnapped victim call back from his/her cell phone.

 

 


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2 Responses to Kidnapping Scam in Oxnard – Parents asked to wire money for Daughter’s Safety

  1. Mel Beckman May 21, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Christopher G. The FBI reports that the vast majority of victims of these kidnapping scams are legal immigrants and illegal aliens, and the perpetrators generally operate out of Mexico, unreachable by US authorities and rarely prosecuted by corrupt Mexican law enforcement.

    According to the FBI, between 2013 and 2015, investigators in the FBI’s Los Angeles Division kept statistics on these scam kidnapping calls from Mexico, almost all of which originated from Mexican prisons. These scams targeted Spanish-speaking victims, with instructions given in Spanish. The majority of targets were from the Los Angeles and Houston areas. According to FBI phone records analysis of the originating numbers, fraudsters were cold-calling hundreds of SoCal numbers to randomly find susceptible victims.

    The problem has gotten worse since then, and expanded north. As far back as February 2018, the Ventura Police Department warned of increased reports of targeting Ventura City residents.

    Scams have also become much sophisticated, with criminals exploiting social media gather information and track the whereabouts of the supposed kidnap victim to add credibility to their claims. They also elicit information in the initial call, and re-use that information make their call more believable. For instance, a victim will inadvertently mention the name of their child when the scammers says “We are calling about your child.”

    Failure by phone companies to block fake caller ID, something they could easily do, gives these crooks an easy way to fake calls from a child’s cellphone.

    The FBI says that hispanics are targeted because many are hesitant to involve police, due to immigration status problems.

    Reply
  2. Christopher garcia May 19, 2019 at 9:58 am

    That’s f…ed up what pieces of sh.t to do that to parents. I hope the police catch him and throw him in jail.also just a heads up there’s also a scam where they call and say that if you don’t pay money for unpaid tickets you will be thrown in jail just keep an eye out for that scams. Be safe.

    Reply

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