The Hudson Police Department is warning the public of a sophisticated kidnapping scam that recently claimed a married couple who were tricked into thinking the other had been abducted.
Police responded to a local Walmart around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday for a report that a local woman had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom.
While responding to the call, Hudson police learned that the Merrimack Police Department was dealing with a kidnapping case involving the same two victims.
Investigation revealed that a scammer had convinced the husband and wife from Hudson that he had had abducted the other. Neither of them were ever actually in danger.
Both of them wired money through Western Union to pay the ransom for the other.
Police investigation showed that the funds were withdrawn in Puerto Rico, and a cell phone ping of the suspect also came back to Puerto Rico.
This case is currently being investigated by the Hudson Police Criminal Investigation Division.
Police say that this scam has been showing up the last few years and that the public should be wary of similar calls.
The calls are usually made from an outside area code, but will often use a “spoof” caller ID to appear local. The caller will go through great lengths to keep the victim on the phone and will try and prevent them from call or locating the “kidnapped” victim.
The ransom money for this scam is only accepted through wire or online transfer.
If you do receive a call that a loved one has been kidnapped, police recommend staying calm and avoiding any sharing of personal information during the call.
Request to speak to the victim directly or have them call you from their own cell phone. If they do connect you to someone they claim to be the victim, ask them questions only they would know.
While on the line, try and contact the victim through phone or social media.
Police say the best course of action is to immediately contact local law enforcement through 911, or the FBI.