Juneau phone scammer claimed to kidnap family's daughter
Over the course of three weeks, Juneau residents have reported multiple telephone fraud and harassment calls. After a scary situation Wednesday, the Juneau Police Department is reminding people what to do if they fall victim to a scam.
According to a release sent by JPD, they have gotten at least five separate reports. One was related to a utility company, another was posing as a court employee and multiple calls were attempts to impersonate a JPD employee.
On Wednesday, a Juneau woman said she received a call at work from someone who said she had missed jury duty and had a warrant out for her arrest and needed to go to JPD to turn herself in. The caller asked for the woman's cell phone number so she could stay on the phone with her on the drive to the police department.
"The main JPD phone number appeared as the incoming caller ID," according to the release. "The caller likely “spoofed” the JPD phone number to trick the woman into believing that they were a JPD employee. As the woman was driving, both a male and female suspect spoke with her and provided instructions."
During the conversation, the victim provided personal information to the suspects that were later used in a phone call to her family, "spoofing" their number to look like the call was coming from the woman's cell.
"The male suspect told the family that they had kidnapped their daughter, were holding her for ransom and went into detail about ways they would harm her if they did not meet the monetary demand," JPD said.
The victim and her family are safe and no funds were ever transferred.
JPD encourages everyone to protect their personal information carefully. If you think you are being scammed by a caller, hang up and call the company or agency directly at a published telephone number.
For a look at common scams and fraud schemes along with tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, visit the FBI’s website. The FBI also takes telephonic and online reports of financial fraud.
Online reports of suspects pretending to be government employees, family members, friends, and several other imposter situations may be submitted to the Federal Trade Commission.
Financial Fraud may be reported online.