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New scam targets families of missing persons in Alaska for ransom demands

(AST)
(AST)(Alaska State Troopers)
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 4:04 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The families of missing persons in Alaska have become the target of a new internet scam.

In a press release, the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) said that internet trolls use information found online to contact the family members of missing individuals.

They then claim to have kidnapped the missing person and demand a ransom for their safe return.

These scams can trick people into paying money to a Pay Pal or other type of online platform, according to DPS.

Megan Peters, Communications Director for DPS said, “We’re all used to Nigerian princes. We’re all used to different romantic scams. This is a relatively new one that we became aware of, and we do know that a handful of Alaskans have been impacted by it.”

“They’re really callous because they’re targeting people that are already having a huge amount of grief over the trauma over not knowing what happened to their loved one, and they don’t need to have that extra component added in to the stress that they’re already feeling,” she said.

DPS recommends that those who receive a text message asking for money in exchange for a missing loved one not respond.

They should instead report the scam to akcic@alaska.gov and let the agency in charge of your missing persons case know.

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