Lexington police are warning parents about a scam in which callers claim to have kidnapped children that they want to exchange for ransom.
Sherelle Roberts, police spokeswoman, said three such phone calls have been reported to the department this week. The people receiving the calls told police the voice on the other end of the line says: "We have your kids."
The first reported call was Tuesday, but the person was able to determine it was a scam and hung up immediately, Roberts said in a news conference.
Not long after the first call, a second call to another person was quickly disregarded because the scammer said, "I have your daughter," but the "victim knew it was impossible, because he does not have a daughter," she said.
On Wednesday, at about 1:30 p.m., a third call was made to a mother with two daughters. The parent immediately called police, and they eventually were able to contact one of her daughters and confirm that neither one had been kidnapped.
Roberts did not give a specific age of the daughter, but she was "college-aged."
All the people who were called are doctors, she said.
"We want people to be aware of this scam," she said. "The fear and the emotions that goes through you when you think your child is in danger, I just think is unimaginable in some cases. We want people to know that there are people out here who are trying to trick people into thinking their kids are in danger in exchange for money."
As of Wednesday afternoon, police were investigating what telephone numbers the scammers were calling from and how much they were requesting.
If parents receive such a call, they should take it seriously and try to get as much information from the caller as possible, Roberts said. Ask who and where they are and what they want, then call the police, shesaid.
Anyone with information should call Lexington police at (859) 258-3600.