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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

FBI warns of scammers taking advantage of families with missing loved ones

The FBI is seeing more cases of scammers acting like they know the whereabouts of a missing person to gain a ransom from their family.

MIDLAND, Texas —

You've likely seen posts while scrolling social media from people searching for a missing loved one. These posts are often asking for help to bring them home.

They list out information about that loved one. What they were wearing, how tall they are, where they were last seen and much more.

Did you know those families are targets for scammers?

“Families starting to receive text messages, emails, messaging on the social media sites or even direct phone calls,” FBI Special Agent Jeanette Harper said. “These scammers are not necessarily providing proof of life, they Just have enough information that they can fool the family into believing that they know where that person is.” 

The FBI has seen an uptick in cases of scammers acting like they know the whereabouts of a missing person, then asking their families to pay a ransom in return for their family member.

Agents say it is yet another example of criminals trying to take advantage of a high stress situation.