Bad habits, practices, extortion, and scams were expected to reach applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. Many are already present but now many extortionists use the popular messaging application WhatsApp to get money .
Everything virtual is changing personal, social and business relationships at a dizzying pace. Maybe your business or way of communicating is one day one way and the next day it has changed. Scammers have also been active in this area and through suggestive messages such as “I want to meet you”, contests, discounts or false promises of “spying on your partner’s conversations on WhatsApp” they are able to capture many unwary people.
Police Tips to Avoid Extortion
The worrying thing is that all these practices are going at a greater speed than the ability to be sanctioned, executed or prevented , so we must be cautious about any offer of these, nobody offers four pesetas hard.
According to the National Police Inspector, Head of the Network Group of the Technological Investigation Unit, Silvia Barrera, every day new cases and types of fraud arrive at her office. She investigates and studies new types of Internet crimes and on her Twitter account helps us prevent them.
Some people suffer from extortion by WhatsApp with messages like “watch out for the consequences”, “I know where you live”, “I know your family” even when they report that someone they know or know has been kidnapped. Thus, the easiest thing to do in this panic situation is that many victims end up paying and giving in to blackmail, which in most cases is false.
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What evidence can we collect against these extortionists who use WhatsApp and Skype primarily? In many cases the number, profile picture, email and so on are not enough or reliable to prove who is behind the extortion.
How victims are chosen in WhatsApp and Social Networking
It’s easy to create a fake account on Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, Skype, WhatsApp and other social networks. Through these fake accounts, usually created on remote sites, extortionists add victims and collect data on them to calculate their crime . So we must prevent this and be very careful who we accept as contact.
A Facebook group such as “How to find out someone’s password”, “Make money easily” and such hooks attract many people easily. Once he has the victims, this type of criminal gradually gains the trust of his followers through interesting information, tutorials and others that supposedly work but are really fakes or lies.
As he gains confidence with the fans he gets intimate with them through some message until he finally provides the phone number to contact through WhatsApp and send some wasap. The message exchange goes on for days or even weeks while waiting for promises to be made, usually money or passwords.
The instructions of the Head of Networks of the Technological Research Unit Silvia Barrera are clear, first of all we must not make it easy for these people, be cautious and not give information . If we put comments on our Facebook, or WhatsApp status that provide information such as “My sister is going to Finland”, “Look what Mercedes I bought” … All this is data that scammers can use to create a custom trap, as they could for example tell us “We have kidnapped your sister in Finland”.
The fact is that they have earned our trust little by little, but what do we have on them? Their number? Their Facebook account? Their email? All of which are susceptible to being falsified. They in turn threaten from remote sites with “I will find you”, “watch your back”, and in case we pay they will probably come back for more money.
Thus the threats and extortion continue over time and according to the police rarely cease before they are caught by the agents themselves, but by then we will have already paid out large amounts of money.
Be careful with the data you publish on the Internet
If you go around bragging about your iPhone, your trips, your car… in short you go around bragging about having money you are the perfect target for this kind of extortion and crime . So if you’re looking for shady deals like making easy money, hacking into email accounts, or reading someone else’s WhatsApp, the people offering it to you will be shady too.
If these businesses were profitable, if earning money was so easy they would definitely not offer it to you, let alone publicly, so be careful with the tough ones at four pesetas because they are probably a lie. To avoid this we recommend our tips to keep your iPad safe from pishing.
Finally, it is recommended that if we are dealing with a similar case, we should report it to the police as they cannot and do not want to hurt you, they just want to get the money out of you quickly and easily. You can see this police officer’s blog by clicking here.
What about you? What do you do to avoid extortionists on Facebook, WhatsApp and the Internet? Have you ever experienced anything like this? We are waiting for your answer in the comments.