Exploring the Virtual Kidnapping Scam

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Exploring the Virtual Kidnapping Scam


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     Lookout, beware, and be alert!  Once again this evil world has a new issue that is upsetting to human race. As if kidnapping wasn’t bad enough, kidnapping is now happening virtually. People are receiving phone calls with someone explaining that one of their family members is being held captive. This phone call is very realistic and even includes screaming effects. The only way to save the family member or loved one is to send money through via wire transfer services. However, there is a catch… it’s just a scam.

     Scams have been happening for a long time now; this information is nothing new to people. Different scams that are popular for 2019 are fake prizes, fake government officials, and fake debt collectors. All these calls are used to persuade the person on the other end of the phone to hand over his money. The prize scams use excitement to get the best of people; the call claims that they have won a free prize but then says they only have to pay a “small fee” to receive it or pay the “handling cost.” The other two scams use fear in order to receive money. The scams exclaim that something bad will happen if you don’t send money.

      Just as those fake government officials use fear, so does the kidnapping scams. If one were to receive a message about their family members being held at gunpoint, he/she would begin to freak out and do whatever it takes to save his/her loved one. However, different signs can give away that this call is not real. If the caller is from an outside area code, if they only accept money over via wire transfer services, or keep one from trying to contact the victim, the call is most likely a scam. Several people have also been able to keep the caller on the line and use another device to contact their loved ones to make sure they are alright.

     “I looked down and it was my daughter, so I answered the phone,” he said. “The person on the other end identified themselves as having my daughter tied up and demanded I listen to him very carefully. He said ‘I’m not playing around,’ demanded that I go to Walmart and purchase a MoneyGram and send it to him or that he was going to kill my daughter.” This story happened to a dad in Noblesville, Indiana, which is close to home. Hoaxes like these can happen to anyone, so it’s important to stay alert and remember you can’t trust everyone.


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