APD Alerts Public of Reoccurring Kidnapping Phone Scam

The  Anchorage police department is once again warning the public of another phone scam circulating in Alaska following an incident last week in the Anchorage area.

According to APD, late last week, a victim was duped into thinking his wife had been kidnapped and began withdrawing bank funds and purchasing gift cards to win her release. APD was alerted to the situation after receiving a report of suspicious circumstance in the Northern Lights Fred Meyer store.

Patrol officers responded to the store and then to Walgreens and contacted the victim who told them that he “withdrew ransom money because he believed his wife to be kidnapped.” He went on to report that “He then purchased multiple gift cards at the nearby Walgreens as part of the ransom,” after he was called from what he thought was his wife’s phone saying she had been kidnapped and being held for ransom.

APD quickly worked to locate the victim’s wife and found her safe and unaware of the incident. Police found that the unknown suspect or suspects in the scam had used a phone application to spoof the wife’s number on the victim’s caller ID.APD reports that this is an on-going scam and say, “Victims believe they are receiving calls from friends, family members, businesses as well as organizations such as the Anchorage Police Department,” using the spoofing app to disguise their true number.

Many times, the callers will make threats or demand money for such reasons as missed court dates, warrants or unpaid debt.

If you have been a victim or have information about these scams, please call APD Dispatch at 907-786-8900, your local law enforcement or troopers.