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AURORA, Colo. -- A new scam is targeting some of the most vulnerable people: the parents of missing children.
Rick and Booja Jain say their 15-year -old son Ritesh went missing Sunday. They searched for hours and the next day received a disturbing text message.
“This is to let your know that Ritesh was kidnapped by myself and my men. You are warned not to tell anyone or the cops about this or he dies,” the message read.
The alleged kidnappers demanded $4,000.
The family called police and learned this was nothing more than a scam.
“They said, 'this is nothing big, people got your number off the way you were advertising and that’s probably what’s happening, they are trying to get money from you. I can assure you they don’t have your child,'” Rick Jain said.
Like many parents of missing children, the Jain’s posted on Facebook and other social media sites looking for help finding their son. Police believe that’s exactly how these scammers are finding their victims.
“You don’t take advantage of people while they are down, that’s exactly what they are doing. We’re desperate, we are willing to do anything to get our son back; we have been day and night looking for him,” he said.
Ritesh was found and is home with his family. But his father is shocked how low-life thieves will go to take advantage of people.
“If he would have sent me a picture or he would have sent me what clothes he was wearing or anything I wouldn’t have (paid them) and he did not.”