KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. Issues Scam Alert Concerning Kidnapping and Ransom Hoax

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

SUBJECT: K.P.D. Issues Scam Alert Concerning Kidnapping and Ransom Hoax
DATE: November 19, 2021
CASE #: Multiple
Effective November 19, 2021, the Kingsport Police Department is issuing a scam alert to area citizens regarding a kidnapping and ransom hoax that is being perpetrated in and around this jurisdiction. While scams of this nature are not new, over the past 48 hours, no less than three (3) similar scams have been reported to area law enforcement. The elements of the hoax are as follows:

A would be victim will receive a phone call or other form of communication from a scam artist claiming that they have kidnapped one of their family members, friends, or loved ones. They have done some research and will typically name a specific person who is known to the targeted individual. There will often be screaming in the background allegedly originating from the named kidnapping victim.

The scam artist will then threaten to harm the hostage and demand that a ransom be paid in exchange for their release. The targeted individual will be instructed to go to a specific location to arrange for payment, typically in the form of a wired money transfer.

Citizens are cautioned that if they receive such a call, it is almost certainly a scam. Due to originating telephone number altering technology that is readily available, it is highly doubtful that the individuals carrying out these scams are local, and entirely possible that they may not even be operating from within the United States.

Anyone who is contacted in such a manner should absolutely not turn over any funds to the caller, and contact law enforcement to report the incident immediately.

For additional information and tips regarding this type of scam, please visit:

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)


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