Shutdown Cell Phone Virtual Kidnapping Scam – Facts

Picture about Shutdown Cell Phone Virtual Kidnapping Scam
Shutdown Cell Phone Virtual Kidnapping Scam


Beware of Fraudsters:

Given below is happened to someone & he has narrated this in his own words:

” I received a call from someone claiming that he was from my mobile Service provider and he asked me to shutdown my phone for 2 hours for 3G update to take place. As I was rushing for a meeting, I did not question, but just shut down my cell phone.

After 45 minutes I felt very suspicious since the caller did not even introduce his name. I quickly turned on my cell phone and saw several missed calls from my family members and the others were from the number that had called me earlier –

I called my parents and I was shocked that they sounded very worried asking me whether I am safe. My parents told me that they had received a call from someone claiming that they had me with them and asking for money to let me free. The call was so real and my parents even heard ‘my voice’ crying out loud asking for help.

My father was at the bank waiting for next call to proceed for money transfer. I told my parents that I am safe and asked them to lodge a police report. Right after that I received another call from the guy asking me to shutdown my cell phone for another 1 hour which I refused to do and hung up.

They kept calling my cell phone until the battery had run down. I myself lodged a police report and I was informed by the officer that there were many such scams reported. MOST of the cases reported that the victim had already transferred the money! And it is impossible to get back the money. Be careful as this kind of scam might happen to any of us!!!

Those guys are so professional and very convincing during calls. If you are asked to shut down your cell phone for updates by the service provider, ASK AROUND!

Your family or friends might receive the same call. ”

Be Safe and Stay Alert!

Please pass around to your family and friends !!!

Picture about Shutdown Cell Phone Virtual Kidnapping Scam
Shutdown Cell Phone Virtual Kidnapping Scam


This is a public message warning people about a supposedly new and ‘Virtual’ Kidnapping scam that seems to operate by asking people to shutdown their cell phones. The claim is partially fact.

Not New Story

These messages are not new, they are in fact circulating since at least early 2010 – in various versions, mentioning various locations. The message states that criminals, pretending to be from cell phone carrier companies, call a particular cell phone user and ask him to shutdown his phone for couple of hours for cell phone upgrades to take place. When the user switches off his phone, the criminals supposedly call his family and demand a ransom – claiming that they have kidnapped the person. It is also said that the criminals use a voice recording of the user to convince their family of his abduction.

Actual Facts

It is a fact that virtual kidnapping scams do happen sometimes, in various countries like Colombia, Central and South America. Sometimes the criminals use stolen cell phones and contact the owner’s family for the same purpose. Sometimes the scammers send such messages to cell phone owners and try to get rip off ransom from their families. And sometimes the criminals also use social networking sites like Facebook to find out young people bragging about an upcoming vacation out of their city or state. When they know that the people shall be out of contact for hours or days, they make a virtual kidnapping deal with their families. However, the present way of scamming people is not always possible practically.

Most people today know how cell phones work, and they won’t be willing to shut down their phones for hours – especially after a random call. So the aforementioned way of virtual kidnapping scam asking people to shut down their cell phones is not common; the warning is certainly exaggerated. However, as a matter of safety, you should note that if you get any call or message on your cell phone asking you to shutdown so that your provider can perform upgrades – it is most likely not legitimate, and could be a scam.

Cell Phone users must be careful while sharing their personal contact information on phone or social networking websites.

Hoax or Fact:

Partially Fact.


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Prashanth Damarla