Spanish police warn of "virtual kidnapping" – what to do if it happens to you

PHONE FRAUD: How to avoid the scams. File image. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Spanish police have issued a warning against what is known as “virtual kidnapping” – read on to find out what to do if it happens to you.
The National Police are constantly warning citizens of the various ways in which criminals use new technology to find victims, whom they will target with the objective of obtaining their bank details, committing scams or stealing their identity.
One such method of scamming is known as “virtual kidnapping”, where the victim is made to believe that one of their loved ones has been kidnapped.
“A supposed kidnapper calls you on the phone and says that they have one of your family members… Keep calm, track down the family member by another means and call 091,” explained the National Police in the post they shared on their official Twitter account.
What should you do if you are the victim of a virtual kidnapping?
As the National Police have indicated, the criminal will call by telephone and will claim to have kidnapped one of your family members. It is not a real kidnapper. It is a thief who is trying to extort you for quick money.
The criminal may try to prolong the call, and the police advise that you do not panic, but remain calm and do not trust the caller. What you should do is hang up, get in touch with the family member to make sure that they are safe and call 091 to report the incident.

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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at