Fraudulent phone call to Las Cruces suggests ransom payment

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Las Cruces Police are warning residents of potential fraudulent phone calls that attempt to entice call recipients to respond at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, provide personal or financial information or pay a ransom for the safe return of a relative.

On Wednesday January 7, a couple in Las Cruces received a phone call from a man claiming to be at the scene of an accident involving the couple’s daughter. The caller put a woman who claimed to be the couple’s distraught daughter, who was allegedly held against her will, on the phone. The appellant asked the couple for $ 1,000 for the safe release of their daughter.

The couple, who are bilingual, tried to speak to the woman in Spanish but she was unable to communicate in that language. The couple’s current daughter is bilingual and could have easily spoken to her parents in Spanish.

Las Cruces Police have confirmed that there was no accident involving the woman and that she was not being held captive in any way.

According to the couple, the appellant ordered them to get either a certified check or gift cards. They were then to meet with the appellant to facilitate the exchange. Police believe the scam likely originated from outside the region and that the caller then allegedly requested card or account numbers to electronically debit the check or gift cards.

Anyone who receives such a call should refrain from answering without verifying the authenticity of the call. Anyone who receives such a call should immediately report it to the police by dialing (575) 526-0795 or 911 if it is an emergency. A dispatcher should be able to easily confirm whether or not there is a motor vehicle accident.

Residents are also reminded to refrain from providing personal or financial information to anyone you do not know, or to anyone who contacts you by phone, email, text, message or social media.

Las Cruces Police Information


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