Cyberscam Disables Crisis Line – Again

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April 16, 2015– For the third time since 2013, phone scammers have jammed The Bridge for Youth’s crisis telephone line.  Crisis calls are being re-routed to the agency’s business line until further notice.

Anyone in crisis should call  (612) 230-6601.  Parents, caregivers, and service providers needing to reach youth at The Bridge should dial this same number.

The Bridge has notified the Attorney General’s office and Homeland Security in addition to other government agencies.  Officials state that nothing can be done to prevent this disruption.  “We just need to wait until the scammers stop dialing our crisis line over and over again,” said Executive Director Dan Pfarr.

“Our crisis line saves lives,” added Pfarr.  “Disrupting it can cause irreparable damage to young people and their families.”

The crisis hotline receives over 3000 calls annually from youth on the street in need of shelter, or experiencing a mental health crisis or having suicidal thoughts.  Overwhelmed parents call worried that they might lash out physically at their teen.

In Fall, 2015 The Bridge will add a texting platform to its crisis Emergency Services center.  Texting operates on a service separate the phone line making it less likely to be hacked.

 

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