Police: Chances are nobody in your family is being held for ransom after a car crash

Boston Police are warning residents, in particular Spanish-speaking ones, against a scam in which people get a phone call or text message that:

A family member or loved one is being held captive and will be harmed or held until the victim pays a specific sum of money. In several cases, the party being held captive is alleged to have been in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in property damage that he/she is unable to pay for. It is not uncommon for the caller to know basic details about the victim’s life, including names of family members, places of employment and school information. This information is used to help convince the victim of the legitimacy of the caller's claims.

Police say they've gotten several reports of this scam being tried in Boston of late, add it's been done in other cities across the country as well.

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      Comments

      Maybe...

      By on

      but you don't know my family.

      Reminds me a bit...

      By on

      of another scam I've heard going around recently. Someone calls an elderly person with a report that their grandchild is traveling somewhere, was detained by the police, and needs $2,000 to get bailed out. In addition to making the connection between relatives (that's probably not very hard these days) the scammers also get personal details about the grandchild. It sounds far-fetched, but I know two (otherwise 100% with-it) elderly people who have fallen for this scam.

      All too familiar...

      By on

      These scams (including the above comment) sound depressingly familiar to me. I come from Mexico City, where these calls/text, and others, are so common there's a hotline exclusively for reporting them, and even my family has received a few of them allegedly on my behalf (fortunately, they're savvy enough to call me from a separate phone to confirm my whereabouts.) As a legal Mexican immigrant, I don't want to assume that the growing Mexican population is responsible for this, but the tidbit about advising Spanish-speaking residents specifically is just too damning.

      Yet another reason to be extra careful with cell phone and address book thefts, and with the information one shares publicly.

      Yep

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      Had this call almost get my grandmother. Fortunately, we were able to get to Western Union in time to stop transmission when we found out. They pretended to be my brother and appealed to her not to tell my parents because they would be embarrassed. They were operating out of the Phillippines.