Imagine you get a phone call from your daughter. Your phone even shows your daughter's phone number on the display, but when you pick it up it's a man demanding ransom. That's what happened to Mark Walker when a 'kidnapper' tried to claim he had Mark's daughter and would kill her if he didn't pay up.
Scammers are now able to duplicate phone numbers into tricking you family members are in trouble. If you're caught off guard, it would be hard not to believe it is actually happening.
“I looked down and it was my daughter, so I answered the phone," Walker told WTHR. "The person on the other end identified themselves as having my daughter tied up and demanded I listen to him very carefully. He said ‘I’m not playing around,' demanded that I go to Walmart and purchase a MoneyGram and send it to him or that he was going to kill my daughter.”
FBI recommends if you get a call like this to have someone nearby call the potential kidnapped victim to see if they answer. They say to also ask for "proof of life" or to speak to the victim. The best tip is to remain calm and not let emotions get the better of you. They say scammers will ask for a reasonable amount of money for ransom, like less than $3,000.
If you think you've received a virtual kidnapping call, let authorities know!