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Police warn of kidnapping scam in southwest Denver

DENVER -- Officers have responded to at least five reports of kidnappings in southwest Denver the past two days, the Denver Police Department said Friday.

Police said someone is calling parents and demanding money for the safe return of their children.

The caller has demanded the money to be wired to a bank. Calls were made in the late afternoon.

"It is concerning," said Denver Police spokesperson Jay Casillas. "And our intention is to make sure the public is aware, hat they know not to give up the money....that they call us."

As it often happens with scams, the callers try to play on the parents' emotion.

"They might make the situation seem like it’s a stressful situation," Casillas said. "They might panic and that’s what’s going to make you rush into maybe giving the money up."

Many times the scammers are successful. In 2016, one in ten Americans was the victim of a phone scam. That cost them nearly $10 billion.

Police said they have found the alleged kidnappings to be false and none of the children were found to be abducted or harmed.

Anyone who receives a similar call is asked to call police at 720-913-2000.