Arcata Police Department press release:

The Arcata Police Department would like to warn the community of an ongoing scam.  In the past two days, two separate citizens have reported receiving a phone call that begins with somebody screaming and then a male voice saying they have kidnapped a relative or loved one and are going to kill them unless you pay a ransom. 

The scammer ultimately directs the victim to a location where the victim is told to wire a large sum of money to an account to ensure their loved one’s safety.  The phone calls have been very intense and appear realistic.  The scammers even go so far as to knowing the victim’s name and the name of the relative or loved one.

In both instances, the phone numbers returned to Mexico, and a call back to the number could not be received.  Similar scams have been documented throughout the United States.

If you receive a call similar to this, it is important not to send any money.  Contact your local police department and report the incident.