'Virtual kidnapping' on the rise in New York, FBI says | Reuters
(Reuters) - In a new wrinkle to an old crime, hundreds of New Yorkers have been tricked into paying ransoms by wire transfer to callers who falsely claim to have kidnapped their family members, according to the FBI.
In these "virtual kidnappings," scammers make random calls to find their victims, saying a loved one has been snatched and demanding the immediate transfer of small sums of money to have them released, the FBI said.
Some calls feature screaming in the background to convince a victim of the authenticity of an abduction, the FBI said.
"There have been hundreds of the hoax kidnappings just in New York over the last 18 months," FBI spokesman Peter Donald said on Wednesday. "This is hundreds of people who have actually wired money to them."
Wow that's nasty.