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Las Cruces Scam Telephone Call Suggests Ransom Payment

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Las Cruces police are warning residents of potential scam telephone calls that try to entice call recipients to respond to the scene of a motor vehicle crash, provide personal or financial information, or pay ransom for the safe return of a relative.

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, a Las Cruces couple received a telephone call from a man who claimed to be at the scene of a crash involving the couple’s daughter. The caller put a woman on the phone who claimed to be the couple’s distraught daughter who was purportedly being held against her will. The caller demanded $1,000 from the couple for the safe release of their daughter.

The couple, who are bilingual, tried speaking to the woman in Spanish but she was unable to communicate in that language. The couple’s actual daughter is bilingual and would have easily been able to speak to her parents in Spanish.

Las Cruces police confirmed there was no crash involving the woman and she was not being held captive in any form or fashion.

According to the couple, the caller ordered them to obtain either a certified check or gift cards. They were then supposed to meet with the caller to facilitate the exchange. Police believe the scam likely originated from outside the area and the caller would have then asked for card or account numbers to electronically debit the check or gift cards.

Anyone who receives such a call should refrain from responding without verifying the authenticity of the call. Anyone who receives such a call should immediately report it to police by calling (575) 526-0795 or 911 if it is an emergency. A dispatcher should be able to easily confirm whether or not there is a motor vehicle crash.

Residents are also reminded to refrain from providing personal or financial information to anyone you do not know, or anyone who contacts you by phone, email, text, message or social media.

Information from Las Cruces Police