HILLSBORO, Texas – The Hillsboro Police Department and the Hill County Sheriff’s Office are raising awareness of a new scam.

Both departments received several complaints Monday of loved ones being held hostage for money. The callers identify as “hostage takers” calling from a Mexico phone number while requesting the caller to go to WalMart to await further instructions. The caller instructs the intended target not to call the police, or the family victim will be killed. The loved one, in all instances, were found safe at home with no contact by anyone.

It is believed the caller is trying to get specific information on family members through a social media hack or trying to review open social media accounts.

In these instances, it is believed the caller will hope the intended target family member will become fearful and drive to WalMart without calling the police. The caller then intends for the target family member to electronically wire money or get gaming or gift cards and divulge the access number to take the funds from the cards. Once this transfer is complete, the funds are not able to be recovered and are usually untraceable through a non-extradition country who will not cooperate with law enforcement in the United States.

You are urged to contact authorities if you receive one of these calls.

Source: Hillsboro Department of Public Safety