The Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department offers tips for how to spot a kidnapping phone scam after a local mother was taken for $2,000 after being baited into believing her daughter had been kidnapped.

According to our media partners at 44 News, the mother received a call from a con artist claiming to have kidnapped her daughter, and demanded the money be wired to them in exchange for her freedom. The mother realized she had been scammed after receiving a separate call from daughter saying she was safe.

The Sheriff's Department says in the past, criminals have used social media to scout potential victims and learn more about their families.

The Department is urging residents to consider the following if they ever receive a similar call:

  • Does the call appear to be from the kidnapped victim’s phone?
  • Is the caller going to great lengths to keep you on the line?
  • Does the caller tell you not to call or attempt to locate your loved one?

If you or someone you know receives a call similar to what was reported, the Sheriff's Offices suggests you do your best to remain calm, and take the following steps:

  • Request to speak to the victim directly.
  • If the caller does not let you speak to the victim, ask the caller to describe the victim’s appearance and the location they were taken from.
  • Attempt to call or text the victim. Request that the victim call you back from his or her cell phone.

The Sheriff's Office also encourages you to call 911 and report the crime as soon as possible.

[Sources: 44 News / Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department]