‘Kidnap Scam’ leads to bank robbery investigation

Ashland, Ore — A warning from police as a terrifying scam has officers responding to a possible bank robbery in Ashland Wednesday

The call itself is bad enough, you answer your phone and a stranger tells you they have your son or daughter and they’ll kill them if they don’t get a ransom.

There is also a voice is heard screaming in the background.

A similar call sent one man to the bank today, only to have police respond to a possible bank robbery.

“He was pretty sure that the voice on the other end of the phone was his daughter,” said Sgt. Bob Smith with the Ashland Police Department.

It’s called the ‘kidnap scam’ and it’s terrifying families throughout the area.

“It’s a horrible scam. unlike scams we’ve seen in the past they’re not only trying to trick you but they’re trying to scare you trying to use that fear to motivate you,” said Lt. Mike Budreau with Medford Police.

In the most recent incident an unsuspecting man speaking on the phone with the scammers to tried to withdraw money from a bank in Ashland by a writing a note to the teller.

“The note basically said, my daughter’s been kidnapped, and i’m being compelled to withdraw money,” said Sgt. Smith.

That sparked a police response to what they thought was a bank robbery.

“What the bank did is activate an alarm so we could respond immediately,” said Sgt. Smith.

Police were able to help the man and his daughter was never in danger.

This frightening scam has claimed many victims financially as the scammers tend to prey on those most vulnerable.

“Unfortunately we have had been that have been scammed and have been the victim of some monetary losses that go into the thousands of dollars,” said Sgt. Smith, “they should contact police, they should.”

Police say the scammers will often request money be sent using a wire service like western union.

If you have any doubts, hang up and contact police.

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Matt Jordan is the Chief Meteorologist for KOBI-TV NBC5. Matt joined the NBC5 weather team in 2014 after a year as a reporter and anchor in Alexandria, Louisiana. His experience with the severe weather of the Deep South and a love of the Pacific Northwest led him to pursue a certification with Mississippi State University as a Broadcast Meteorologist. You can find Matt working in the evenings of NBC5 News at 5, 6 and 11 as well as online. Matt also has a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. In addition to being passionate about news and weather, Matt is a BIG Oregon Ducks fan. When not rooting for the Ducks or tracking down the next storm over the Pacific, Matt can be found outdoors in the Oregon wilderness with his wife, his daughter and their dogs Stanley and Gordi.
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