Howard County police are investigating reports of a telephone scam in which callers claim to be holding family members hostage.
During the past two weeks, police have received four reports of incidents in which scammers attempt to get money from a victim by claiming to have taken a family member hostage, police said.
The caller says the family member caused a car accident and is being held until the victim wires money to cover damages, police said.
Police said the caller attempts to keep the victim on the phone until the wire is complete, police said.
Each of the four cases has been a hoax, police said.
Police said no one has sent money but are warning residents to be wary of such scams, and have issued the following warnings:
- Be wary of unsolicited phone calls.
- Don’t allow a caller to threaten or scare you into taking immediate action.
- Refrain from sharing personal or financial information over the phone.
- Never send money (via wire or pre-paid debit card) to someone you don’t know.