Phoenix police warn of kidnapping-extortion phone calls

Posted at 2:09 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 19:47:14-04

Phoenix police are warning residents of a recent jump in reports of false kidnapping-extortion calls.

During the calls, the suspect will phone the victim from an unrecognizable number and claim to have kidnapped a family member, Lt. Paul Taylor said.

The suspect, in a majority of cases, informs the victim that a family member is being held and the family must pay to secure their release. According to Taylor, in each of the cases so far, the incidents have been false claims.

Police say if you receive a call of this nature you should immediately verify that the family member in question is safe, then report the call to police.

Taylor said the department is working to identify the suspects, and anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStop at 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.