Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland warns county residents to beware of “virtual kidnapping” and tax scams, according to a release.
The kidnapping scam is initiated when the victim receives a phone call from someone stating a loved one has been kidnapped and the caller will then demand ransom money for their safe return, according to a release.
The callers may have specific personal information and may provide detailed instructions on how to transfer the money. Scammers will often ask that money be transferred through services such as Western Union.
Tax scams include impersonation phone calls in which the caller claims to be an IRS employee and tells residents they owe the IRS money and will be arrested.
Another IRS scam involves fraudulent tax returns being filed after a client’s information has been stolen from a real tax professional.
Due to rapid advancements in technology, these types of scams have increased over recent years, according to the release.
Sutherland warns anyone who receives a similar call to stay calm and remain on the line to gather as much information as possible. He also says potential victims to find out loved ones' whereabouts first and then notify police. He wants residents to save any voicemails or related text messages and not to share information about loved ones or any personal banking information.