A New Threat to Students
Police have recently issued a warning about an emerging scam targeting university students. In this insidious scheme, fraudsters manipulate students into creating fake abduction videos of themselves, which are then used to extort money from their parents.
Modus Operandi of the Scammers
The scammers behind this new type of scam focus on university students who live alone in apartments. They initiate contact by making phone calls through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), usually starting with the numbers +697 and +698, and randomly selecting potential victims.
Initially, the scammers inform the victims that they’ve become entangled in some illegal activity. If the target is a university student living alone and lacking funds, the fraudsters suggest a way out.
The Deceptive Trap
The scammers instruct each victim to purchase a new mobile phone SIM card and record a video of themselves appearing to be tied up with rope or duct tape. Once the clip is sent to the scammers, they contact the victim’s parents and send them the video, demanding payment.
In a state of panic and unable to reach their child, the parents transfer money either to a mule account or their child’s account, which is eventually transferred to the scammer gang.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
To avoid falling victim to such scams, it’s essential to remain vigilant and exercise caution. Police have recommended downloading the “Who’s Call” mobile app to help verify mobile phone numbers and report any suspicious calls.
If you suspect a scam call, immediately inform the police at 191 or contact the Police Cyber Task Force center at 1441 or 081-866-3000. Stay safe and keep your loved ones informed about this new threat.