Written by Mike Levin
Imagine that you receive a phone call from a number you do not recognize. On the line, the caller tells you they have kidnapped your loved one and you hear a voice (that could be your loved one) screaming and crying for help in the background.
They know your loved ones’ name and have information that makes the call seem real. To release your loved one safely, the criminals demand payment via Western Union or other forms of online payment.
What would you do?
This is the setting for an ongoing crime called virtual kidnapping. The criminals in this scam usually have done their homework including researching the victims’ social media sites and even hacking into the victim’s phone or computer.