Kidnapping Scam

So, I have just been woken up by a frantic phone call from my parents at 2 in the morning. Apparently there is a kidnapping scam targetting elderly parents going around. They received a phone call claiming that I ‘co-signed’ a loan from a loan shark for ‘a friend’, who has then skipped on payments. They claimed that they have now got me and was beating the shit out of me (along the sound of someone crying for help in the background) and asked my parents to deposit money into an account if they want to see me alive again. That scared the crap out of them. Fortunately, there are enough holes in the story to make them suspicious. For one thing, I now live in the US, but my parents live in Hong Kong. They know that I generally do not hang out with the crowd from Hong Kong, and it is unlikely that I would have contact with a loan shark who speaks Cantonese. My dad managed to spin a story about my mum managing all the money and having access to the bank account, but she is out with her friends for a while, and actually managed to get a phone number from the scammer to call him back later! Then they called me and confirmed that everything is fine. But now I can’t go back to sleep. :mad: Fucking scammers. There should be a special layer of hell for people who prey on the elderlies.

I’m pretty sure everything is done from an untraceable mobile number or something, but I told them to consider contacting the police anyway and see if there’s anything that can be done.

Holy crap, that’s horrible! Is there anything the Hong Kong authorities can do about something like this? I guess if it’s an untraceable number they can’t, but shouldn’t it at least be reported?

I’ve just talked to my parents again. Now that they have calmed down, they said that they now remember actually reading about similar scams in the newspapers before. However, it hit very hard and your heart just dropped and forgot everything when someone told you it was the life of your own child that was on the line. Since no harm was done (other than the emotional distress), and it is unlikely that there’s enough information for the police to get anywhere, they just want to put this behind and move on, which I respect.