Sheriff Warns of False Kidnapping Scams

Staff Reports

San Bernardino County – Last week, several victims in various cities in the County of San Bernardino have received phone calls from unknown suspect(s), claiming their child/children had been abducted.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public of these alleged kidnapping phone scams that are on the rise. These scams target parents to extort money from them claiming that they have and will harm their children.

According to Sheriff’s reports, the suspect(s) have threatened to harm or kill the child/children if the victim did not cooperate with their demands. The suspect(s) have personal knowledge of the intended victim(s), including their children’s names. The suspect(s) claims they are monitoring police scanners and would know if law enforcement was notified.

During a couple of the scam calls, the suspect(s) used a child as a decoy, having the child cry and beg for help over the phone. The suspect(s) directed the victims to remain on the phone, proceed directly to a bank and withdraw funds. The suspect(s) instructed the victims to go to a money transfer location and wire the money to them. The suspect(s) kept the victim on the telephone during the entire transaction.
Sheriff’s have no verified kidnappings to date. If a similar call is received, immediately call 911 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at 909-387-8313 or 760-956-5001 and, verify the whereabouts of your child/children. If you have information regarding the suspects involved in this activity, please contact Sheriff’s Dispatch.