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Virtual Kidnapping

By Scam Awareness | May 9, 2017

The FBI is issuing a new warning across the country about a scam called "virtual kidnapping." The dangerous hoax takes the horror of scams to a whole new level.

 Victims of this scam first receive a call from an unknown number demanding an immediate wire transfer to their account. Amidst the sound of muffled yells for help in the background, the crooks claim to have kidnapped a loved one. The threat is clear and urgent-transfer the money now or face the consequences.  

These scammers do their research, often utilizing social media to verify the whereabouts of the "kidnapped" relative. As a result, such calls seem all too real and lead many to shell out funds in desperate fear for their loved one's life.

As victims of "virtual kidnapping" are left in sheer terror, having lost thousands of dollars or even potentially comprising their sensitive financial information, there are important lessons to be learned for others.

First, keep in touch with loved ones while they are traveling in order to stay updated on their plans. For those who are traveling, be cautious about posting on social media-your perfect vacation photo may arm scammers with the information they need to rip off your family or friends. Be cautious when posting online, and add greater privacy to your social media accounts.

Taking steps now to ensure your safety and security will help keep you and your loved ones safe from this frightening new scam!

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