The Coachella Valley Unified School District warned families today about scam phone calls targeting parents, making them believe their children were kidnapped and asking for a ransom.
“According to law enforcement agencies, unscrupulous individuals use advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, to make these calls seem more convincing and terrifying,” CVUSD Superintendent Luis R. Valentino wrote in a message to parents. “They often provide false information about your child’s whereabouts, creating a sense of urgency and panic.”
Valentino encouraged parents who encounter a similar scam call to stay calm, contact the school, report the call to law enforcement, do not pay a ransom, block any unknown numbers, and educate family members about the importance of not sharing personal information with strangers.
Parents should ask callers for identifying information about their child without providing information about themselves or their family, and verify their child’s safety and location with their child’s respective school, according to Valentino.
“These calls are incredibly distressing, and we understand the fear and anxiety they may cause,” Valentino said. “It is essential to stay informed and vigilant in these challenging times.”
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