New scam involves sending victims disturbing photos

Published: April 9, 2022 6:16 PM EDT
Updated: April 9, 2022 9:02 PM EDT

A new phone scam is making its way around Southwest Florida. The scam was reported to Cape Coral police on Thursday.

According to a Cape Coral police report, it all starts with phone calls and texts from an unknown number. A victim got a text message saying “you owe some money.” But, the victim then received pictures of dead bodies.

Certainly not the typical scam you’d expect, especially from a number you don’t recognize. Christian Wartchow is the CEO of CyberSecure IT Solutions. “Most scammers want you to take action quickly. So if you just take a step back, take a beat. Give it a minute, think it through, do you know this person? Have you ever talked to them before? Does this sound logical to you? If it smells fishy, it is fishy,” Wartchow said.

The victim called Cape Coral PD and told the officers that another number called them after they received the pictures. This time, the swindlers said they’d show up at victim’s house.

“If they’re threatening to come visit you, even if it’s kind of an undertone threat, it’s always best to call to call law enforcement,” said Wartchow.

It seems like people are constantly receiving call, text, or email scams. So, are there certain age groups or demographics that are being targeted? “Scammers of all types typically target folks that are 50 to 90 years old,” Wartchow said. “Typically, because of the psychological manipulation of either fear or greed or wanting to help, these scammers can be very, very convincing.”

The best advice Wartchow can give is to block these numbers. “Block caller on iPhone, block caller on Android phone, and block that number that will prevent them from texting or calling,” he said.

Luckily, the victim didn’t give out any money or personal information. And the scammers may not have gotten away with it this time, but this shows how important it is to slow down and pay attention.

The cybersecurity specialist also said it is important to safeguard your personal information. He suggests changing your passwords and making them more complex to better protect yourself from scams.