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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.

 

Sources and stories used throughout the article are more thoroughly explained in links below:

 

https://www.wthr.com/article/im-not-playing-around-virtual-kidnapping-scam-hits-indiana

 

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/beware-virtual-kidnapping-scams-fbi-warns

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “Exploring the Virtual Kidnapping Scam”

  1. Kelsey Wise on April 9th, 2019 7:57 am

    Good article. I think that these scams are actually pretty scary and it is really weird that people do this just to do it. They want money and want to be selfish which is so wrong and it shows that our worlds social media is used for bad things and that maybe we need more restrictions for scammers. Great article.

  2. Edward Prince on April 10th, 2019 1:18 pm

    This was a fantastic article. The beginning really put me in a serious mindset and a want to here more type mood. This article will also be very helpful for my future. Thanks!!!! Also, great job on the article choice and with all the facts you used.

  3. Caleb Johnson on April 11th, 2019 8:03 am

    Nice article McKayla! I like how you gave an example that was close to home. It truly shows that it can happen to anyone, especially those who aren’t expecting it. I’m glad you publicized this issue. Once again, great article!

  4. Alex Myers on April 12th, 2019 8:03 am

    McKayla, you had me wanting more and more after each sentence. This is a very well written article. This is a serious issue and I am glad you covered it. Thank you for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention. Good job!

  5. Kaitlyn Harris on April 17th, 2019 1:51 pm

    I think this is a great article! I like how you wrote about a very serious topic and issue. I also like how you showed that something so serious like this can really happen to anyone.

  6. Kaitlyn Harris on April 17th, 2019 1:54 pm

    I think this is a great article! I like how you decided to write about a very serious issue and gave examples. I also liked how you put into perspective that this can really happen to anyone.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Exploring the Virtual Kidnapping Scam