The FBI wants to prevent you and your loved ones from becoming victims of virtual kidnapping for ransom schemes.
Mollie Halpern: The FBI wants to prevent you and your loved ones from becoming victims of virtual kidnapping for ransom schemes.
Virtual kidnappings happen when victims are coerced over the phone to pay a ransom because they believe a family member has been kidnapped or is at risk of being kidnapped.
No one is actually physically kidnapped in these schemes, but victims like Valerie Sobel say the threats feel frighteningly real…
Valerie Sobel: It took me about three, four days before my hands stopped shaking. It definitely had a very, very bad effect.
Halpern: Perpetrators of these schemes exploit social media and other technology to carry out their crimes.
Supervisory Special Agent Michael Kelley says these prevalent schemes are evolving…
Michael Kelley: The perpetrators of these crimes are becoming more sophisticated. They’re using technology and more sophisticated methods to dupe people into thinking that their loved ones have been kidnapped.
Halpern: If you’re a victim, contact your local FBI field office. To learn indicators of this crime and how to protect yourself, visit www.fbi.gov. I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau with FBI, This Week.