NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Metro Nashville Police warned Nashvillians Thursday about the dangers of internet scams, especially those that involve fraud and sex crimes.
MNPD told community members to be wary of internet scams. For example, some individuals create fake social media accounts posing as young women interested in forming relationships with men and vise versa.
Franklin Police detectives also said Wednesday that those who engage on social media should use the mindset "Think Before You Send." This mentality also refers to being aware of whom you connect with online.
"Once an online conversation is underway, nude photos of females are sent to men who are then asked to send nude photos of themselves," MNPD detectives said. "When the scammers receive nude photos from the male victims, they threaten to make those photos public unless there is a payment, usually in the form of a gift card."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that tech support schemes are on the rise. They said 66% of all reports in 2020 were from older adults 60+ who were taken advantage of by criminals who may pose as a company's representative offering to help with technical issues regarding bank or email accounts or computer software.
Some tips for those who are concerned about protecting their technology from scammers are:
- Legitimate customer, security, or tech support companies will not initiate unsolicited contact with individuals; nor, demand immediate payment, or require payment via prepaid cards, wire transfers, or mailed cash.
- Install ad-blocking software that eliminates or reduces pop-ups and mal-vertising, which are online ads that incorporate or install malware. Ensure all computer anti-virus, security, and malware protection is up to date.
- Be cautious of customer support numbers obtained via open source searching. Phone numbers listed in a “sponsored” results section might be boosted because of Search Engine Advertising.
- Resist the pressure to act quickly. Criminals will urge the victim to act fast to protect their device. Legitimate companies will allow time for a person to process and research any questions.
- Never give unknown, unverified persons remote access to devices or accounts.