Scam Alert: Milwaukee police alerting public to phone ransom scam

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department is alerting the public to a recent trend seen both locally and nationally.

According to police, victims of the scam receive phone calls from a caller who claims to be holding a member of the victim’s family hostage. The suspect then demands that money be wired in exchange for the release of the family member.

Further investigation of these incidents has shown that family members were not actually taken hostage and that the claims of the suspect are false.

Calls like these are frequently coming from the phone number (631) 827-1544.

"Sometimes there'll be some type of strange circumstances like 'we got into a car accident' or 'we got into an argument' but ultimately their goal is to extort money which is then wire transferred to somewhere outside of the United States where we have no jurisdictional powers," David Salazar with MPD said.

The Milwaukee Police Department is encouraging anyone who receives a call like this to contact MPD immediately to investigate.