Police issue ‘virtual kidnap’ alerts to California schools

Authorities say residents made separate reports March 7 and 8 that they were the victims of the fake kidnapping threats. (AFP)
Updated 18 March 2019

Police issue ‘virtual kidnap’ alerts to California schools

  • Police said a man wired $5,000 before learning his daughter was safe

LAGUNA BEACH, California: Police in a seaside California city have alerted local schools to two “virtual kidnap” cases in 24 hours.
Laguna Beach police say victims received phone calls claiming their daughters had been kidnapped and would be harmed unless money was wired to a Mexican bank account, the Orange County Register reported Saturday.
There were no abductions in either case, according to police.
Authorities in the community about 57 miles (92 kilometers) south of Los Angeles say they have contacted the Laguna Beach Unified School District as well as local private schools to warn parents of the scam.
Authorities say residents made separate reports March 7 and 8 that they were the victims of the fake kidnapping threats.
“All of them want money transferred to an account in Mexico, and they are directing victims outside of the city to withdraw money,” Laguna Police Sgt. Jim Cota said.
Police said a man wired $5,000 before learning his daughter was safe.
“At about 6:30 p.m., as the victim was completing the last transaction, he received a call from his daughter who was fine in Laguna Beach,” Cota said.
In the second case on March 8, the victim was told her daughter had been taken while attending college in Chicago.
“Once the mother pulled out the money, she called the police department,” Cota said. “Police officers stopped her on her way out of town and were able to stop the transfer of money.”
Both of the cases were referred to the FBI on March 13, police said.


Trump to host next year's G7 summit at his Florida golf resort, White House says

Updated 11 min 22 sec ago

Trump to host next year's G7 summit at his Florida golf resort, White House says

  • Mulvaney told reporters the summit would take place at Doral on 2020, and that the administration selected Trump's resort
  • "Doral was by far and away the best physical facility for this meeting," he said at a news briefing

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump will host next year's Group of Seven economic summit of developed world leaders at one of his own properties, the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami, a White House official said on Thursday.
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump would not profit from use of the property and defended the decision, which comes as the president faces ongoing criticism and congressional investigations over his finances and potential conflicts-of-interest.
Mulvaney told reporters the summit would take place at Doral on June 10-12, 2020, and that the administration selected Trump's resort after initially looking at about 12 potential locations in various other U.S. states.
"Doral was by far and away the best physical facility for this meeting," he said at a news briefing. "It's almost like they built this facility to host this event."
Mulvaney said the event would be "at cost" and that using the Trump site would save millions of dollars and was cheaper than the other potential sites.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president, over his son's business ties in Ukraine and China, which Trump has repeatedly called corrupt, without evidence.
Asked how the president's use of his private business properties to host official government events differed from Trump's allegations against the Bidens, Mulvaney told reporters there would be no profit and said the family had made their money before Trump became president in January 2017.
Trump has said he is not involved with the day-to-day operations of his private company and that his sons run the business.