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Kent County Sheriff warns of new scam targeting residents

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of a new scam targeting the area.

Scam callers claim to have kidnapped a family member and demand big bucks for their safe return.

The way the scam works is through technology called “spoofing”, the scammers phone number appears on caller-id as the number of a loved one. The scammers claim they have kidnapped that loved one, and demand a large ransom be wired before they hang up the phone, or else that loved one will be killed.

Sargent Joy Matthews is the Sheriff Department’s Public Information Officer. She says the department has received multiple calls from area residents, many who have been traumatized by the scam.

“Victims are claiming that they hear, panicked, realistic screaming in the background,” Matthews said. “They say the screaming sounds just like their loved one".

Matthews says if you receive a phone call like this, remain calm, remain skeptical, ask to speak to the loved one, try contacting your loved one, and to call the police.