On March 13, 2013, State College Police investigated a kidnapping scam targeting a cell phone user. The scam involved a ransom demand from a fictional kidnapping.
Scammers appeared to work off a basic script, adding details as the victim provided information about the relative. The basic script involves a motor vehicle accident in which an outraged owner abducts, beats, and threatens to kill the hostage if cash for repairs is not wired immediately. In this case, the alleged kidnappers demanded $1500.00 ransom.
State College Police located the relative of the victim and confirmed his safety. In addition, State College Police determined that the suspect called from Puerto Rico using a prepaid cell phone.
State College Police recommend residents who receive these types of calls to not panic, and immediately call 911 to have police confirm the safety of their relatives. This scam has been in existence for several years in other parts of the country.