Aurora police are warning of a telephone scam involving a phony hostage situation and ransom demand that is targeting residents in the western suburb.
Throughout the past week, people have been receiving phone calls demanding ransom for family members that are purported to have been in an accident, according to a statement from Aurora police.
Although residents have reported variations of the scam, generally the caller does not identify themselves and goes on to tell the resident that one of their family members, who they call by name, has been involved in an accident, police said. The caller then says the family member is being held hostage and, unless ransom money is paid, the family member will be killed.
The scammers’ telephone numbers are mostly local area codes and some of the calls have come from fluent Spanish speakers, police said. Authorities have not learned of anyone giving in to the demands and losing money.
Although the recipient of such a call might become upset because a family member is mentioned by name, police remind residents that detailed information is easily accessible via the internet or social media. Also, specialized devices can spoof caller IDs to indicate local calls.
Anyone receiving a similar call is urged to contact Aurora police.