Online scams and hacking attempts have become quite common in recent years. Not every online scam story is the same as the next, though. In fact, there have been quite a few horrific stories revolving around online scams and hacking attempts that one would not wish upon their worst enemy. Thankfully, all of these problems were resolved without any major damage being done to the victims.
#3 Blackmail Due To A Data Breach
Whenever a popular service gets hacked, affected users need to be concerned about more than just resetting their password. In the case of the Ashley Madison hack, several series found themselves on the receiving end of a blackmail scheme. Considering how thousands of people were affected by this hack, it was only a matter of time until criminals tried such a tactic.
Hackers contacted several Ashley Madison victims and threatened to expose their details on the Internet unless they paid US$500. Thankfully, most people ignored this threat, although it is unknown how much money changed hands to keep people’s names off the Web.
#2 Remote Car Hacking
One of the biggest concerns researchers have when it comes to autonomous vehicles is how insecure the software is. As it turns out, cars can be hacked remotely. During one particular experiment, hackers started modifying the car’s environment as a whole. Turning on the air conditioning and wipers is just a minor nuisance. Cutting the transmission of a vehicle, however, is a very real threat consumers should be concerned about.
Further investigations showcased how hackers are even capable of disabling the braking system of a car. Thankfully, most of these “early” security flaws are no longer exploitable. However, one can never be certain what hackers are up to or which vulnerabilities they will take advantage of next. If somebody’s car – autonomous or not – is hijacked, it is doubtful the story will know a happy ending.
#1 Virtual Kidnapping Scam
As horrible as the concept may sound, virtual kidnapping scams should not be underestimated by any means. One mother was forced to cough up close to US$10,000 after receiving a phone call from someone who claimed to have kidnapped her daughter. After wiring close to the full sum, she received a text from her daughter confirming she was OK. In fact, the daughter was never kidnapped in the first place.
Virtual kidnapping scams are becoming more popular as of late. Criminals dial random phone numbers and threaten the people that one of their children is kidnapped. Moreover, they keep the victims busy so they won’t call the police. One can never be certain if a loved one’s life is in danger, which is exactly what makes this type of scam so horrific.
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