GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is warning people to watch out for a scam.

They are calling this a “ransom scam,” and say it’s new and recent to Greenville County.

Lieutenant Ryan Flood said callers are targeting people and saying they have their family, or loved one, kidnapped. These scammers are demanding ransom money.

Lieutenant Flood said multiple people have lost several hundred dollars due to this scam.

He said they are sometimes able to identify people by name and even their family members’ names. These callers are often spoofing numbers to make themselves believable.

“The biggest thing that we want people to know is this scam is circulating. So, if you get a call similar to this, we want them to understand that more than likely, it is going to be a scam,” said Lieutenant Flood.

Some tips from the sheriff’s office:

  • Hang up
  • NEVER provide any information
  • Try to locate the family member
  • Know where your loved ones are at all times, especially your children
  • Call the Sheriff’s Office to make a report if you receive a call like this

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI to trace the calls. Lieutenant Flood said calls have been traced to other countries, like Nigeria.

He said to call them immediately at (864) 467-5300, if you receive a call like this.