Boston Police issued a community alert Saturday warning parents of a kidnapping scam after at least three parents of students enrolled in Boston public schools received phone calls from someone who tried to trick them into paying ransom by falsely claiming their children were in danger or had been kidnapped.
“The scammers had information about the parent’s child, including their name, and demanded the parent send money through Western Union,” Boston police said in a statement. Police did not identify the parents or say whether any of them had paid money to the scammers.
Police said the scammers generally target parents and grandparents. Parents are being advised to be careful about posting information publicly on social media and to talk with their children about protecting their privacy online, police said.
“Scammers often look through social media for any information that would give them the ability to persuade you” police said.
Parents should also report any scams to the police immediately, the statement said.
“If you receive a scam call, immediately hang up the phone and do not reply to any suspicious emails, calls, or texts,” police said. “Do not reply to any urgent messages demanding money, especially if the person is demanding money through Western Union, gift cards, or cryptocurrency.”
Adam Sennott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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