What Is Cyber Kidnapping?
The recent case of a Chinese student found unharmed in the US after his parents paid an $80,000 ransom to alleged ‘kidnappers’ has spotlighted the growing menace of cyber extortion plots globally involving convincing victims to isolate themselves.
- Cyber kidnapping refers to an online extortion crime where scammers persuade an individual to hide somewhere while pretending to their loved ones they are captive.
- The victims also share images seeming to indicate they are bound or gagged, furthering fears of harm if ransom is not paid.
- In reality, the scammers simply monitor the individual remotely while negotiating payments from worried relatives who believe them abducted.
- While comprehensive data remains lacking, law agencies confirm cyber kidnappings are increasing worldwide, especially targeting international students.
- Experts worry advances in AI like human-mimicking voice tech could make schemes more convincing for victims and families.