The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a recent run of reports throughout the county of a scam, in which residents are told a loved one has been kidnapped and ransom payments are being demanded.

On several occasions over the past week, residents have been contacted either by telephone or through social media regarding an alleged kidnapping. All of these incidents have been investigated and determined to be unfounded, Sheriff’s officials said.

The phone numbers or social media accounts used are found to be disconnected upon call back and appear to originate from out of the state or country, officials said.

The Sheriff’s Office advises anyone who receives this type of message or telephone call to contact law enforcement immediately to report the incident.

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