IBERIA PARISH, La. (KLFY)— In Iberia Parish, some law enforcement officials are warning the public about a kidnapping phone scam.
A recent post on the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook page read there has already been multiple reports of the scam spreading around the parish. Chris Babin of the Better Business Bureau said scammers like to use scare tactics to manipulate a caller into doing what they want, like sending them money.
“It is always trying to lead to some type of financial information,” Babin said. “We have seen them duplicate or create a lot of situations that are not really realistic or true but to scare people into giving up that information.”
The posts described the scam saying it starts with a phone call from any number it could be a random or a familiar number. When you answer the phone, the voice of a distressed child is heard asking for help. The scammer wants you to say the name of any child to get information. Once you call out the name, the scammer gets the information and leverage they need to make the situation more realistic. They then ask for money to get the kidnapped loved one back. Babin said the scammer wants to create panic for you to make an irrational decision in their favor.
“The sense of urgency is one of the red flags to look out for,” Babin said. “A lot of times the scammer is creating these situations to steal money, and it’s not real.”
The more information a scammer can get on you the better. Babin encourages everyone to take all the necessary precautions especially on social media.
“We encourage you to use those privacy settings on social media,” Babin said.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office did not want to give any comments about the scam as there have only been a few reports so far, but according to the Facebook post, they encourage anyone who gets the call to reach out to them or any other agency as soon as possible.