Walla Walla police investigate new type of scam
WALLA WALLA, Wash. —
Walla Walla Police are investigating a scam that started with a mom thinking she was getting a call from her daughter, but it turns out that it wasn't the daughter that was on the line.
“The victim's daughter was claimed to have been kidnapped,” says Sgt. Kevin Braman.
Police say the male suspect had disguised his phone number with the daughter's. He demanded the mom go to Albertsons and buy Visa gift cards.
However, it turns out the daughter was actually safe, but she was preoccupied with another scammer.
Sgt. Braman says the scammers actually called the daughter first, using a number disguised to look like it came from the Walla Walla County Courthouse.
The caller claimed she had missed jury duty and needed to come to the courthouse. They also told her to stay on the line.
"She was on the line while her family members were trying to call her and make sure she was ok."
The parents called police and officers responded to Albertsons to see if they could find who was involved, but no one suspicious was there.
It was discovered shortly after that the call was a fake, but it left the family shook up.
"Even though it's been found to be fraudulent, it's still a traumatic event," says Sgt. Braman.
Braman says he hasn't heard of a scam like this recently.
He says if you get any call that seems suspicious, make sure to verify the information, even if it seems to be from a family member.
"Just know that this technology is out there on the internet and any type of call that you receive could be from just about anyone."
Sgt. Braman says if a call does seem suspicious, he advises that you call police and keep any information or voice mails you get so it can be used for evidence.
He also adds that if a business or government agency calls to demand money, it'll be done using a direct payment rather than gift cards.
Walla Walla PD is still investigating.