Yesterday, the Odessa Police Department responded to two local banks in reference to a possible robbery. In both instances, investigation revealed that a robbery had not occurred but that multiple people had fallen victim to the kidnapping ransom scam.
OPD has recently received several reports in reference to fraudulent ransom scams. Citizens have reported receiving calls from someone advising that their family member was being held captive and demanded to be paid a ransom for the family member’s release. The scammer orders the person receiving the call to stay on the phone until the ransom is paid. In some cases, the call may appear to be coming from the phone number of the alleged kidnapped person, but the scammer won’t let you speak to the person or hear their voice.
The Odessa Police Department would like to remind the public that should someone receive a phone call in reference to this scam, to please not pay any money or provide any personal information. Simply hang up and call the family member immediately! Also, notify the Odessa Police Department immediately with the caller’s phone number and any names associated with the call. It is also recommended that to prevent these types of scam calls, people should make their social media accounts private and revisit information that may be public on social media accounts.