Monday, February 28, 2011

Two men accused of extorting thousands of dollars from a San Jose woman in a kidnapping scam

As a kidnapping consultant, I like to analyze kidnappings in the news and see what went wrong and how it might have been prevented. In this case, the kidnappers were perpetrating a scam. There was no real hostage. In fact, the "kidnapper" created a fictional story to elicit the ransom from the woman, who was the real victim in this case. After paying the first ransom request, the kidnapper then claimed he himself was kidnapped which finally raised enough suspicion with the woman that she called the police. Its clear this woman knew the man, and obviously trusted him to some degree. The man preyed on this trust and was able to obtain thousands of dollars based on a fictional story. The key thing to remember is to always do your due diligence BEFORE handing over money. This woman was operating on only one persons version of events. Always do your threat assessment first. Ask for proof. Had she kept a dialogue going with this man, and paid close attention to the details, its likely that his story would have changed over time. Liars tend to forget small, minute details, and in situations like these, the devils in the details. This could have been prevented had she opened a dialogue and asked for more information before giving him the money. This scammers story would have likely fallen apart with a bit of research on her part. Unfortunately, in situations like these, many people are simply shocked by the perceived event and emotion takes over. Stay calm, be rational, think it through..

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