Peace Corps Office of Inspector General Warns about Kidnapping Phone Scam

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General (OIG) is warning Peace Corps families, Volunteers, and staff to be vigilant against phone scams involving scammers claiming to have kidnapped family members and demanding ransom. This scam is not specific to the Peace Corps—it is widespread and has become more sophisticated as years pass, with scammers using social media as a means to gain personal information about their victims.

The scam typically begins with a phone call from a person claiming your family member is being held captive. Often times, the scammers claim to know significant details about your family member and demand sums of money that can be paid quickly.

US citizens are cautioned against paying the scammers even if they claim to have a Peace Corps affiliation. Instead, if you receive a call like this, please contact the Peace Corps Duty Officer at 855-855-1961 ext.1470 (outside the United States) or 202-692-1470, domestically. The Duty Officer will be able to confirm the whereabouts of your family member.

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About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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