Sheriff issues alert about hostage scam

Sheriff issues alert about hostage scam

CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office issued a warning for people to be aware of a hostage scam.

Sheriff Talmadge Bunch said a woman in Ethel contacted his deputies Tuesday while she was on the phone with the suspects, although they had told her not to call anyone.

She reported two men called her and told her they had her adult son hostage in the Baton Rouge area. They claimed he had hit their car in the parking lot of a gas station.

They added he did not have the $800 it would cost to repair the damage, so they took him hostage and were going to kill him if she didn't give them the money by a certain time.

"They had a gun to his head and I needed to pay him for his bumper," said the woman.

The woman said the suspects knew the make and model of her son's car as well as other personal information.

Detectives with the EFPSO contacted Louisiana State Police and the Baton Rouge Police Department to help them investigate the possible hostage situation. Investigators found the woman's son at his job.

"They will use an app on their phone called a "spoof app.," said Kevin Garig with EFPSO. "They can actual put a local number into your phone even though they are calling from a foreign country that will further lead you to believe that they are someone local and they are telling the truth,"

Officials said they believe the scam is done by people in a foreign country. They added the personal information the suspects give to victims is probably obtained on social media sites.

Bunch said people across the US have fallen victim to the scam.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.