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The original item was published from 12/16/2022 4:40:31 PM to 12/31/2022 12:00:04 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: December 16, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Scammers Attempt to Use Fear to Gain Money from Parent



Scammers Attempt to Use Fear to Gain Money from Parent 


Scammers demanded $1,300 from a man, telling him they had kidnapped his teenage daughter.  An alert employee called in the suspicious incident, realizing this was probably a scam.  The father stated he heard a female crying in the background of the call and believed it sounded like his daughter.  His daughter was unharmed at a safe location and had not been contacted by the scammers. 


Don’t let scammers use fear and intimidation to steal your money.


On December 13, 2022, at approximately 2:55 pm., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a welfare check at a Money Tree in Spokane Valley.  An employee said a male entered the business, handed her a note telling her to call 911, and that people had been kidnapped.    


Deputies arrived and contacted the potential victim, who appeared frantic and distraught.  He pointed toward his cell phone, telling Deputies to keep their voices down.  


During the contact, Deputies learned the man received a call, and what he described as an “older” Hispanic-sounding male said they had the potential victim’s daughter.  The victim explained he could hear a female crying in the background that sounded like his teenage daughter, and he believed she was in danger.  The scammer told the victim to go to Money Tree, demanding $1,300 in payment while he remained on the phone.  


Deputies contacted the victim’s daughter and confirmed she was where she was supposed to be and was unharmed.  


The suspect scammer hung up when a Deputy identified himself as law enforcement.


These scammers can be very persuasive and tailor their stories to provoke high levels of fear.  They use extreme fear to intimidate potential victims, causing victims to believe a loved one is in danger.  This can be devastating, causing the victim to focus solely on saving their loved one, not realizing they are being scammed.


Don’t let scammers use intimidation to convince you of your worst fears and steal your money.   They can be very compelling and have the one story that can be used to evoke your worst fears, paralyzing you and your ability to process that this is a trick, a scam.  


For more information regarding Common Scams and Frauds or to report incidents, please go to the website. 

 Report Telephone Scams

It's important to report phone scams to federal agencies.  They can’t investigate individual cases.  But your report can help them collect evidence for lawsuits against scammers.

  • Report telephone scams online to the Federal Trade Commission.  You can also call 1-877-382-4357.  The FTC is the primary government agency that collects scam complaints. 

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