Police warn California school officials after 2 ‘virtual kidnapping’ cases in 24 hours

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Police in a seaside California city have alerted local schools to two “virtual kidnapping” cases in 24 hours.

The Orange County Register reported Saturday, March 16 that Laguna Beach police said victims received phone calls claiming their daughters had been abducted and would be harmed unless money was wired to a Mexican bank account.

Police said there were no abductions in either case.

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

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

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

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