Police Issue ‘Virtual Kidnap’ Alerts to Southern California Schools

LAGUNA BEACH (AP) — Police in a seaside California city have alerted local schools to two “virtual kidnap” cases in 24 hours.

The Orange County Register reported Saturday that Laguna Beach police say victims received phone calls claiming their daughters had been abducted and would be harmed unless money was wired to a Mexican bank account.

Police say there were no abductions in either case.

Authorities in the community about 57 miles (92 kilometers) south of Los Angeles say they have contacted the Laguna Beach Unified School District as well as local private schools to warn parents of the scam.

Authorities say residents made separate reports March 7 and 8 that they were the victims of the fake kidnapping threats.

Police say one of the victims paid $5,000 before learning his daughter was safe.

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