Police & Fire

Verona Woman is Victim of Virtual Kidnapping Scam

68e78efc3795487e3648_IMG_1038.JPG
68e78efc3795487e3648_IMG_1038.JPG

VERONA/CEDAR GROVE, NJ – According to Cedar Grove police, a Verona woman was the victim of a virtual kidnapping scam on Tuesday. 

An investigation revealed the victim received a telephone call from a man claiming to have kidnapped the victim’s husband and demanding the victim pay $1,700.00 for his release.  The victim was instructed to send a MoneyGram in that amount to an individual in Puerto Rico, which she did.  

After doing so, she went to her Pompton Avenue bank to request assistance and the police were contacted.  The responding officer, Ptl. Michael Grasso, was able to speak to the victim’s husband by telephone and determined he was at his place of employment in New York City and the kidnapping claim had been a fraud.  The victim then attempted to cancel the MoneyGram, but was informed the money had already been picked up in Puerto Rico.  The matter was referred to the detective bureau for further investigation. 

Sign Up for E-News

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released a warning to the public about Virtual Kidnapping Scams.  Similar to this case, an individual will call potential victims claiming to have kidnapped a family member.  Callers will typically provide victims with specific instructions to ensure safe return of the allegedly kidnapped individual.  Instructions often involve demands of a ransom payment.  Victims are ordered to stay on the phone until the money is wired, often to a third party in Puerto Rico.  Callers will use various techniques to instill a sense of fear, panic and urgency in an effort to rush the victim into making a very hasty decision.  To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, look for the following possible indicators: 

  • Incoming calls from an outside area code, sometimes from Puerto Rico area codes 787, 939, and 856. 
  • Calls that do not come from the alleged kidnap victim’s phone, 
  • Callers that go to great lengths to keep you on the phone, 
  • Callers that prevent you from talking to the alleged kidnap victim,
  • Demand that ransom money be sent via a wire transfer service. 

If you receive a phone call from someone demanding ransom for a kidnapped family member, consider doing the following: 

  • Try to slow the situation down.  Request to speak to the alleged victim directly.
  • If the caller won’t let you speak to victim, ask them describe the victim.
  • While staying on the line with the caller, attempt to call the victim from another phone, or attempt to text or contact the victim via social media.
  • Don’t directly challenge or argue with the caller.
  • To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell them you are writing down the instructions while you or someone else contacts the police for assistance.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

In Photos: Local Parks Flood During Monday Morning Rainstorms

April 17, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - This morning's downpours sent torrents of water into the Third River causing it to over flow its banks.

Passaic Avenue at Brookside was closed by the Nutley Police Department shortly after TAPinto Nutley arrived to capture these images of the flooding. 

Runoff inundated Memorial Park, caused the Third River to spill over its banks in Yanticaw Park, ...

After Comparing Democrats to Nazis, Leaders Call for Resignation of Montville Committeewoman

April 12, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Committee voted to censure Committee Member June Witty for a personal Facebook post she made on April 8 which compared Democrats to Nazis. All four members of the five-person committee asked for her resignation.

The post, a chart which states that Nazis believed in “media mind control,” “no guns,” abortion, and ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

First Congregational Church, Guild Room, Montclair

A Healthier New Jersey: The Murphy Administration ...

Government Health & Wellness

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

New Law Bans Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling in State Waters Off New Jersey’s Coast

April 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling off the immediate coast of New Jersey.

The law, which drew nearly unanimous support from the New Jersey Legislature, counters the Trump administration’s plan to extend its offshore reach for oil and natural gas activities in ocean waters from Maine to ...