Con artists use new twist in kidnapping scam

An old hoax with a new twist: crooks claim to kidnap your kid, but use audio from your kid's social media accounts to make it more real.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A mom wants to warn parents about an old scam with a new twist. 

Allegedly, crooks claim to have kidnapped your son or daughter but are using the audio from videos on social media pages to make the kidnapping more convincing.

Normally, a con artist calls posing as your child or grandchild with a sob story. Then they ask for cash, but now, there's a 21st-century wrinkle to it.

Investigators say the videos taken on your cellphone and posted on social media are being used as bait in scams. They're apparently using voices from videos of your kids posted on social media.

In California, an alleged kidnapper called and threatened to harm a woman's daughter unless she gave him the money he asked for.

The woman was convinced she heard her daughter cry for help on the phone. However, it was a hoax. 

"It's very scary," said Tara Quinones, a mother of two.

Quinones posts videos of her kids to Facebook frequently. 

"If somebody called me and threatened me and for some reason, I didn't know where my kids were, I would be absolutely hysterical," said Quinones. "I would do anything to get my kids back."

That's what these new-age criminals are banking on.

"It's frightening how much we have to monitor what we expose our kids to," said Erin Brady, a mother of two.  

"Makes me question why I'm on it if people can do that stuff," said Jenny Carlson, a mother of two. "I mean, it's just very alarming." 

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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