Phone scam preys on parents' fear that children have been abducted

Police are warning of a phone scam that draws on parents' fears that their children have been abducted.

Fairfax County Police say that several parents claimed to have received calls that begin with the sounds of a child crying or a child saying that they have been kidnapped.

According to the reports, a stranger then takes over the phone call and demands a ransom for the child they claimed to have taken. The scammer then tells the victim to wire money to a specific location.

Police say the scammers try to keep the parent on the phone until the money has been sent.

Authorities say that these types of scammers are designed to catch parents off guard and to prey on their emotions. Police say the first thing a parent should do if they receive such a call is to contact their child's school or chaperone to verify they are ok.

Here are some ways police say you can protect yourself:

How to protect yourself: