Franklin Police warning people about "virtual kidnapping" scam

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Franklin Police are warning people about a scam called "the virtual kidnapping scam."

They said this particular scam has not hit our area as far as they know, but they want people to be aware in case it comes to Simpson County.

"We get people that walk in our lobby every day to report scams," said Lt. Dale Adams with the Franklin Police Department.

In recent years, these scams have changed with technology.

"It's really sad, especially when they lose money and we have to tell them there's not a whole lot that we can do because we don't know where it originated from," said Lt. Adams.

Lt. Adams explained the virtual kidnapping scam saying, "Scammers will call you. They'll get ahold of your contact list somehow through the internet, they'll hack into apps or whatever and steal your contact list and once they get your contact list they can call you from a number your phone recognizes."

Police say these numbers will pop up as your "mom" or another loved one when in fact, it's a scammer.

"They are then telling you that they've got your loved one in custody and they're going to kill them if you don't send them money," added Lt. Adams.

Lt. Adams said he hopes the scam doesn't make its way to Simpson County but he wants the public to be aware of it regardless. News outlets have reported the scam in Indiana.

"It could happen anywhere. We don't know where they're stealing these contact lists on the internet from so I think the main key is to let people know what scams are out there so that they can be aware of them before they hit," said Lt. Adams.

Police say it's hard to figure out who's making these calls.

According to Lt. Adams, "It's almost impossible for us to track down those people. A lot of times it's coming from overseas and the numbers they're calling from are not real numbers."

If you want to report a scam, call the Franklin Police Department at (270) 586-7167.

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