SANTA ANA (CNS) – A mother in Santa Ana who received a telephone call today from someone demanding ransom for her kidnapped daughter wired money to the suspect only to learn her loved one was safe all along and she was the victim of a scam.

The unknown male caller told the woman he had kidnapped her daughter and the victim heard a female voice in the background she believed was her child, according to Santa Ana police.

“The suspect demanded a $500 ransom from the victim before they would release her daughter,” according to a police statement. “Out of concern for her daughter’s safety, the victim remained on the call with the suspect while she responded to a local wire transfer business, where she electronically transferred the funds.”

The woman soon discovered her daughter had not been kidnapped and the suspect fabricated the entire story,” police said.

“Consequently, the Santa Ana Police Department is investigating this case as a felony extortion,” according to the SAPD. “While there is no danger to the victim’s daughter, the Santa Ana Police Department urges members of the public to exercise caution when receiving similar threats.”

Anyone who receives a similar call or who has information regarding this case was urged to call Detective A. Garcia at (714) 245-8408 or email him at agarcia@santa-ana.org.

Tips can also be submitted through Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling (855) TIP-OCCS.