A rash of fraudulent kidnapping cases kept Yakima Police Department officers busy Friday (March 13).

According to a Sunday evening release from the city, police investigated numerous reports of Spanish-speaking callers from international phone numbers falsely telling local families that their children had been kidnapped. The callers told parents they should get money together to pay ransoms.

The calls, according to the city, appeared to target Hispanic families.

City police and local school resource officers quickly confirmed all the children were safe and in schools. The calls stopped shortly after YPD and SunComm Communications sent out social media alerts about the fraudulent calls, the city's release said.

YPD Capt. Jay Seely encourages local parents to call 911 and notify authorities if they receive any calls like this in the future.

“We recognize the fear this would cause any parent and we will work quickly to verify the veracity of the callers demands,” Seely said in the city release.

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