Media

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn citizens of what could be an ongoing, widespread scam.  Detectives became aware of an extortion attempt while handling a call for service on November 13th, 2018.

Fresno County Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call from a Fresno woman who reported a possible kidnapping of her daughter.  The woman explained that an unknown man named Pedro had called her speaking Spanish.  He told her he had kidnapped her daughter from a bus stop.  Pedro said that if she wanted her daughter safely returned, she would need to transfer $500 to him using a money wiring service.  The phone number on the caller ID originated out of Mexico and began with a 52, followed by 10 digits.  

The woman, who has a total of four daughters, became suspicious, so she hung up the phone and contacted her husband.  Her husband mentioned he had picked up one of their daughters at school and she was safe.  Deputies responded and learned of two schools the three other girls attend.  Deputies visited the campuses and discovered all three girls remained safe at their schools.  Pedro later called back and a deputy who remained at the home answered the phone.  He identified himself as law enforcement, which caused Pedro to curse at the deputy and hang up on him.  Deputies attempted to call back the number, but were unable to get through.

Allegations of kidnappings should always be taken seriously, however, there are simple steps to take in order to verify the credibility of the claim.

- Do not rush to send money.

- Do not reveal personal information such as names, locations, etc.

- Ask the caller questions that a stranger would not know.

- Attempt to contact a friend, relative or the potential victim to see if everything is ok.

Please document any information, such as the caller’s name or phone number and report it to the law enforcement agency overseeing your jurisdiction.  If it’s determined to be a scam, you may also utilize our online reporting system.  Please visit www.fresnosheriff.org and click on “Report a Crime” located at the top of the page.  You should select “Harassing Phone Call” to make your report.

You may also make a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-3

 

 

Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
(559) 977-0379
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