Stamford PD warns Spanish-speakers about kidnapped family members phone scam

These scammers are using WhatsApp – an app widely used by the Latino community because it allows free calls and messages internationally.

Angelica Toruno and Nicole Alarcon Soares

Jun 12, 2024, 9:02 PM

Updated 41 days ago

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Stamford police are warning the Spanish-speaking community about scam calls and voice recordings that claim a family member has been kidnapped.
Police said the scammers are asking for money for their return and they’re specifically targeting people who speak Spanish.
“Luckily we’ve been able to convince the people that have called us concerned that it’s just likely a scam and they have nothing to worry about,” said Stamford Sgt. Steven Perrotta.
Police said in recent weeks they have experienced an uptick in the number of residents calling about a scam that sounds very real.
“Usually, they’re calling 911 and they’re pretty frantic and they’re concerned obviously for their family member. Usually overseas and they’re wondering what they could do about it,” said Perrotta.
These scammers are using WhatsApp – an app widely used by the Latino community because it allows free calls and messages internationally.
So far, police say no one in the area has been a victim of the scam – and they want to keep it that way.
“Be skeptical of everything. Question things especially unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls and don’t share personal information over the internet – those are the basics and get off social media, if possible,” said Perrotta.
He said artificial intelligence is making hard to differentiate what’s real.
“With AI, all you need is a snippet of somebody's voice, a couple seconds and they’re able to replicate it so it appears to be your family member,” said Perrotta.
La policía de Stamford emitió una alerta a la comunidad hispana sobre estafadores que afirman haber secuestrado a un miembro de la familia en cambio de dinero.
News12’s Angelica Toruno tiene el reportaje:


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