Virtual kidnapping scam leaves Hollister woman traumatized, several others reported
ABOVE: Stock photo (Source unknown)
HOLLISTER // Police are advising the public to be on high alert after a virtual kidnapping scam left a woman severely traumatized.
One particular incident took place on February 17th, when the victim received a call from an unknown person claiming to be holding her daughter hostage at a local Walgreens. When she heard a woman’s voice in the background, she was convinced the threat was genuine and that her daughter was in danger. The suspect ordered the victim not to contact anyone, least of all the police, and asked her to drive to the store.
When the victim did so, she gave the suspect a description of her vehicle. After assuring her that he was keeping an eye on her, the suspect asked the victim if she had any jewelry she could pawn off for cash and, if so, to transfer the cash via Western Union MoneyGram.
Luckily, the victim’s family soon intervened and were able to confirm that the call was a hoax. Nonetheless, the victim was well past the point of being reduced to tears, having feared for her daughter’s life.
Police have noted that this is only one of several similar scams reported in recent weeks.