Types Of Kidnappings


By far the most common form of kidnapping, this can be accomplished in most parts of the world with minimal preparation, with a relatively low risk of failure. Kidnappers will generally target local businessmen or their families; those regarded as being “well-off”, without having sufficient resources to spend a great deal of money on security precautions. The kidnappers’ goal is a fast, easy payoff. Generally, the ransoms requested are relatively easy for the victim’s family or company to obtain.


Generally, the intended target is studied for some time prior to the actual kidnapping, allowing the perpetrators to gather intelligence on security procedures and personal habits. After the victim has been taken, his or her family or employer is contacted with the ransom demand. Generally, a negotiation process occurs. As most of these incidents are perpetrated by experienced kidnapping gangs, the victim is generally released if ransom is paid. As high-net-worth individuals become increasingly security-conscious, this type of kidnapping has been on the decline in recent years, in favor of less involved kidnappings with smaller, but easier to obtain payoffs.


A crime involving a hostage taking in order to force the victim to commit or assist in a theft. The hostage or hostages is/are held as until the victim has met the demands of the criminals. All of the victims work in a location where cash is being handled, such as bank, post office, currency exchange firms etc.


The victim is abducted, then forced to withdraw their own ransom from a bank or ATM. If all goes well, the victim is released afterwards, generally after having been relieved of all valuables on their person (and occasionally in their residence). This type of kidnapping is popular in urban areas, due to the prolific ATMs. In some cases, this will develop into a standard kidnapping, with further ransom demanded of the family or employer. In other cases, the victim is held overnight, to get around a one-day withdrawal limit.


A Virtual Kidnapping is more a scam than an actual kidnapping. The perpetrators will wait until their target is unreachable (visiting an area with no cellular coverage, for example), then will contact the target’s family or company, claiming they have kidnapped the target and demanding an immediate ransom. The target eventually returns, unaware that anything untoward has occurred. Due to the need for haste, the ransoms demanded are generally relatively modest. Another common technique is to call the target pretending to be a cellular phone company representative, and ask them to turn off their phone for a short while for a technical reason, during which the virtual kidnapping is conducted. Thus far, virtual kidnappings are most common in Latin America, specifically Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, and Mexico.


A kidnapping conducted to extort political concessions from governments or security forces. As monetary ransom is no longer enough, it is more difficult to negotiate kidnap victims freedom as in many cases the political concessions or demands can not be met by the involved governments, putting the victim’s life at grater risk.


A form of forced marriage in which the groom to be kidnaps his bride. In many cases the would-be couple has never met until the day of the kidnapping. This way of marriage is practiced in the Caucasus region, Central Asia, and some nations in Africa. In many cases bride is raped in order to convince her to stay with her husband, as in many traditional cultures the loss of virginity is harshly judged. In some cultures a bride price is customary, so the kidnapper may contact his victims family to demand compensation.