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Hillsboro police warn against active scams, callers threaten to kill loved ones in 'hostage negotiation'

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Posted at 2:48 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 15:48:34-04

The Hillsboro Police Department and Hill County Sheriff's Office said they are receiving a significant amount of reports that a resident's loved ones are being held hostage.

The Hillsboro Department of Public Safety has identified these calls as an active scam.

The targeted residents are receiving calls that inform them a loved one or family member has been taken hostage for money. The caller intends for the family member to wire money or obtain gift cards to access funds through. In all instances, family members and loved ones were found safe.

"The caller instructs the intended target not to call the police or the family victim will be killed," said the Hillsboro Department of Public Safety in a release. "It is believed the suspect caller is obtaining specific information on family members through a social media hack or reviewing open social media accounts."

According to Hillsboro police, victims of the scam are asked to travel to a Walmart and wait on instructions, without calling law enforcement for assistance.

The scammers are hoping that their target will transfer the money, which is unrecoverable and untraceable once complete as the callers are going through a non-extradition country that does not cooperate with the United States.

"Please remain calm and mindful of these types of scams, attempt to contact the family members via phone to verify whereabouts, [and] notify law enforcement in your jurisdiction if you feel the threat is real," said Hillsboro DPS.