16 February Police are investigating fake kidnapping scams after more than fifty victims registered complaints in February. Scammers have been calling families from concealed numbers and mainly between 4:00pm and 11:00pm claiming to have kidnapped a family member. The scammer demands a ransom of between 1000 Euros (USD1,100) and 10,000 Euros (USD11,000) and relies on the fact that the family member selected as the victim is not at home. Some scammers go as far as to imitate the supposed victim’s voice and use phrases such as “Mum, I’ve been kidnapped”. The scammers are said to have strong South American accents and claim to be members of a criminal gang. Many of the targeted victims have been from Madrid but police have also identified victims in other parts of the country. To date, only one person in Madrid is said to have paid a ransom, 1000 Euros.

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