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Nevada County Sheriff's Office warns as scammers target parents with school-aged children

Nevada County Sheriff's Office warns as scammers target parents
Nevada County Sheriff's Office warns as scammers target parents 02:04

GRASS VALLEY — Several parents in Nevada County took a phone call this week that would get your blood racing.

"You know, as a parent, any time you hear your child has been taken and somebody is threatening harm against them, that's going to be a very stressful moment for that parent," said Nevada County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jason Perry.

The Sheriff's Office posted a warning on Facebook after getting back-to-back calls from parents.

Scammers are targeting parents and their school-aged children, telling them they have their kids and then asking them how much money their children are worth.

"When we found out about these, they all happened in the same day. Through some internet searching, I noticed that there have been others around the country that are very similar," said Lt. Perry told.

Lt. Perry works closely with school resource officers. He's now encouraging parents to use GPS monitoring apps that connect to their child's device so they can easily locate their kids.

"Any of the GPs-style apps where you can monitor your child's location are always important," said Lt. Perry.  "It's just always important for us to know where our children are, to know who they're hanging out with, you know, the locations they frequent."

The FBI has been tracking so-called "virtual kidnappings" for at least two decades, but the scam has evolved.

Scammers now scour social media to get more information on your child, and they can also "spoof" a phone number, so it actually looks like they're calling from your child's phone.

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