The Burbank Police Department has been made aware of a couple of incidents (Phone Scams) over the past couple of days where an unknown individual(s) has called a resident impersonating a loved one or has stated they are holding a loved one for ransom. Both calls seem to have a Carbondale, Illinois phone number. The phone number belonged to AT&T on a prepaid number. However; in both incidents, the calls seem to be originating from Puerto Rico based on the information this department has received.
In the first incident, the unknown subjects called the resident acting as a loved one in need of immediate financial help. This person then tendered the phone to another individual who proceeded to give directions on how to wire money to another location. The initial conversation did not give the resident enough time to positively identify the person as the relative but because of the "urgency" in the voices of the call, the resident had no reason to believe otherwise.
The other incident involved a resident receiving a phone call claiming to have their juvenile child and was demanding money. The resident asked which child (but did not offer the child's name which ultimately would been used in the scam), the unknown person claimed to be unable to pronounce the child's name. The resident became suspicious, subsequently hung up the phone and made notification to the BPD. The resident's children were discovered safe at school.
These are just two examples of the many scams out there trying to prey on people's emotions and disguising themselves as a loved one. Please be cautious answering your phone and do not be afraid to ask questions to the person. If possible, ask questions to the person claiming to be a loved one that only the loved one would know (name of first pet, what kind of decoration is on the kitchen counter, how many siblings you have, what is the full name of the individual they are claiming to be, or anything else you could think of).
These calls could lose you thousands of dollars if you fall prey!!!
It is unfortunate we live in a society where we have to be worried about answering phone-calls. Most people have voicemail or answering machines. If you do not recognize the phone number, let the call go to your voicemail or answering machine. If it is important enough, your loved one will leave a message. Please share this info with loved ones and explain the dangers of these types of calls out there
If you have been a victim or believe you are being victimized, please either call the non-emergency number (708-924-7300) or dial 911