Andover Police Warn of Ransom Scam

Police in Andover are warning the public of a new telephone scam. According to an Andover Police spokesman, a person calls and tells victims a loved one has been kidnapped and is being held at gunpoint, before asking the victim to wire ransom money, usually via Western Union.

The caller usually provides details about the person, such as name or hair color, often learning this information about the loved one on social media. However, the scam has also been reported where no personal information was given.

Andover Police advise several steps to avoid being victimized. They include, asking the caller to speak with the relative they claim is being held and asking for specific details that can’t be found online. The police also advise
keeping the telephone number of the caller, if possible, and
calling police immediately if you receive such a call.

According to the FBI, the crime is growing, especially on the east coast. This crime is also difficult to investigate, as pre-paid phones are being used which are difficult to trace. However, once a trace is completed it usually is traced to a location outside of the U.S.