SCAM ALERT: Pueblo residents targeted by false claims of kidnapping

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - People in Pueblo have been receiving calls from someone claiming they have kidnapped a relative.

The Pueblo Police Department issued a scam alert Tuesday afternoon for the fraudulent calls.

Victims say they've received calls from a man with a Spanish accent who claims to have their family member. In some versions of the call, the relative is kidnapped; in others, they have been in a car accident. In every case, the caller instructs the victim to wire money through Western Union and not call police.

The frightening call is made more convincing with the sound of a woman crying in the background.

"One of the most frustrating things about the scams like this is that the scammers are really playing on your emotions," said 11 News Call For Action investigator Katie Pelton. "They're trying to get you upset, they're trying to get your friends because they think that's how they can get your money.

"It's our first reaction to try and help out when someone's in distress or crying on the other end, but the best thing to do is take a few minutes, don't react right away, and really think through this issue and check in with a family member to make sure that this story actually adds up."

Police are asking the public to remain vigilant about strange calls. If the caller is asking you to wire money through Western Union and to not call the police in emergency situations, such as those mentioned above, then it is more than likely a scam.