Georgia Family Defrauded After Teen Daughter’s Alleged Abduction Scam

2 min read

On February 21, officers from the Central Precinct responded to a distress call from a worried father who feared his 18-year-old daughter had been abducted. The father reported receiving messages via a text messaging app, claiming his daughter was being held captive and demanded $15,000 for her safe return. An initial payment of $440 was sent by the father in response to the demands.

The teenager was last seen leaving her residence on Sweetwater Road in unincorporated Lawrenceville around 1:30 p.m. The messages began shortly after her departure, adding to the family’s distress.

Gwinnett County Police Department, in adherence to their protocols, engaged the assistance of the FBI. However, no public alert was issued concerning the teen’s disappearance to ensure her safety.

Over the course of two days, law enforcement officers and detectives tirelessly pursued all leads while maintaining communication with the family. The demanded ransom fluctuated during the ordeal.

In the early hours of February 23, an undercover officer spotted the teenager walking along Sweetwater Road and safely reunited her with her father.

Subsequent investigations revealed that the teen had been deceived by an unknown caller claiming affiliation with the Mexican government. The caller alleged that the teenager’s phone was used for issuing death threats to Mexican authorities and threatened further harm if cooperation was not granted. Over the following days, the teen disclosed personal information and complied with requests for photos, believing they were aiding in an investigation.

The perpetrators coerced the family into believing the seriousness of the situation by exploiting the shared personal information and using the photos as “proof of life.” The teen was instructed to switch her phone to Airplane Mode and sought refuge near a local lake out of fear.

The suspects, believed to be located in Mexico, remain unidentified. Authorities urge anyone with relevant information to contact Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta at 404.577.8477.

Deceptive scams, similar to the one encountered by the family, also target businesses and their employees. Individuals are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities promptly.

For helpful information regarding cryptocurrency scams, visit FTC Consumer Advice.