DENVER — A Denver couple is hoping to help make sure no one else falls victim to what police are calling a kidnapping scam aimed at bilking money from unsuspecting victims.
The couple, who was not identified by their full names, told their story via speakerphone during a news conference called by the Denver Police Department Friday afternoon. Thanks to intervention from officers, they did not lose any money due to the scam.
“These scams, telephone-based scams, are very, very common,” Sgt. Steve Kimberly with DPD’s financial crimes unit said.
It started with a call from an unknown number on Thursday. Lorie, one of the victims, said her husband came home from work and was clearly alarmed. He said he received a call from someone who claimed he had kidnapped their daughter, and his attempt to transfer money failed.
Lorie received a call from the suspects, who she said put someone on the line that sounded exactly like her daughter. She said she and her husband then drove to the bank, where she took out money. But, she also handed a note to the bank manager asking them to call police.
She said she and her husband then went to a King Soopers. Her husband was supposed to go inside and transfer money to the suspects. Lorie said she received a call and a text from the Denver Police Department, and that officers proceeded to meet her.
Lorie said she was immediately told it was a scam, but wasn’t fully convinced until she spoke to her daughter on the phone. Police kept the suspects on the line for investigative purposes.
“We were terrified and even our daughter was terrified,” Lorie said during the news conference, adding that once she knew it was a scam, she ended the call with some harsh words.
Kimberly said this particular call had an area code from Mexico.
While he wouldn’t go as far as to advise citizens to immediately write off all calls like this, Kimberly said scams are “very, very, very” common and in the vast majority of cases, they’re entirely a ruse.
The best thing to do if you get a call like this is to attempt to contact the loved one who was allegedly kidnapped immediately as well as law enforcement, Kimberly said. Do not give into their demands, no matter how urgent they seem.
And in the end, simply hang up on the scammers, police said.
Anyone who has received a similar scam call is asked to call the Denver Police Department at 720-913-2000.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS