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Republic of the Philippines
National Police Commission
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
ANTI-CYBERCRIME GROUP
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ACG-CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN NR 154: UNDERSTANDING THE RISK OF KIDNAPPING PHONE SCAM

Reference Number: ACG-CSB 012319154

 

         The following information was obtained from different cyber security sources for notification to all parties concerned pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) and classified as “Restricted” pursuant to the PNP Regulation 200-012 on Document Security and Impact Rating as high based on PNP Information Communication Technology (ICT) Security

SUMMARY

Kidnapping Phone scams that attempt to dupe victims into paying a quick ransom are on the rise. The virtual aspect of the scam involves staging a scene either on the phone or via social media in an attempt to convince the victim that a loved one has been kidnapped.

The Scammer, claiming they kidnapped a family member or spouse, demands a ransom in exchange for the loved one's release and tell the victim to wire the money for the ransom payment. They claim that the kidnapped victim is in need of medical attention.

This fraud only work when people receive a phone call and have family member who is not at home.

The Scammer will use social media to profile their victims as to where they live, places they commonly visit, and their connected friends.

If you receive one of these calls, never confirm or acknowledge your loved one’s name and if you happen to answer the call, try to ask question that only the alleged kidnap victim knows. Consider trying to slow down the situation and request to speak with the alleged kidnap victim. Never agree to pay a ransom, but instead try to contact your loved ones as much as possible.

RECOMMENDATION

The public are advised to follow these tips to avoid being a victim of Kidnapping Phone Scam, to wit:

  • Check privacy settings on social media accounts;
  • Remove personal information especially phone numbers from social-media profile pages;
  • Don't directly challenge or argue with the caller;
  • Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim if he/she speaks; and
  • Before handing over a money, call your family, and call the police.

   For additional information, please refer to the following websites:

  • https://www.foxnews.com/tech/beware-virtual-kidnapping-scams-fbi-warns
  • https://cyberscout.com/education/blog/fake-kidnapping-calls-strike-fear-in-consumers
  • https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/News/Pages/Beware-of-Virtual-Kidnapping-Ransom-Scam.aspx
  • https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900028900/virtual-kidnapping-scams-are-popular-and-terrifying.html
  • https://www.jdcu.org/kidnapping-scam/

POINT OF CONTACT

            Please contact PCINSP ANGELICA STARLIGHT L. RIVERA, Chief, Personnel Records Management Section thru e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us on telephone number (632) 7230401 local 3562 for any inquiries related to this CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN.