Detailing some new twists on cyber scams, the Internet Crime Complaint Center released a report on dating and payday loan scams that take it one step further, to the real world and into your pockets.
A series of dating scams initiated on singles websites lead to extortion after users were notified that some of their sexual conversations were posted online, along with their real names and phone numbers. Charging from $9 to $99, scammers promised to have the posts removed and the victimâ€™s anonymity preserved. However, the posts remained online even after the victim paid the fees.
â€œThe victims were provided a link to a page on the website that claimed they were a â€œcheater.â€ Photos of the victims and their telephone numbers were also posted,â€ said the Internet Crime Complaint Center. â€œThere was an option to view and buy the posted conversations for $9. Victims were also given the option to have their names and conversations removed for $99.â€
Email and telephone scammers harassing and extorting money from victims involved a payday loan that users supposedly forgot to cover. Calling the victims friends and relatives made the story more believable as accurate information on the victimâ€™s social security number, bank account number and date of birth were confirmed.
Some complained that harassment calls were even placed at their work place, with scammers pretending to be lawyers or government representatives.
â€œSome have been told there was an outstanding warrant for their arrest. Many reported that subjects have also harassed their relatives, friends, and employersâ€, says the Internet Crime Complaint Center. â€œIn a couple of instances, the subjects came to the victimsâ€™ places of employment and residences claiming to be process servers.â€
Official-looking emails trying to resemble those of the United States Attorney also threaten users with court proceedings for violating federal bank regulations and demand a 48-hour reply to straighten out the matter.