The Carson City Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about an increase in “virtual kidnappings” in which con artists call people, convince them a family member was kidnapped, and demand a ransom. The sheriff’s office responded to several of these calls in the last few weeks. The scammer will keep the target of the scam on the phone and will warn that going to the police will cause harm to the kidnapped person. The perpetrators are hard to trace because of the ease of masking their phones and having fake phone numbers showing up on the calls, called spoofing. Most of the calls likely come from outside the United States.