Parenting Alert: How Scammers Are Using Social Media to Target Victims

In the scam known as virtual kidnapping, people get phone calls from strangers who say they've kidnapped their loves ones and demand payment. One woman tells her story.
4:21 | 09/15/16

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Transcript for Parenting Alert: How Scammers Are Using Social Media to Target Victims
I learned about a cyber threats called virtual kidnapping criminals claiming they've kidnapped your kids and demanding money ABC's Abbie Boudreau. As one mom's frightening story. Or. Is this is the voice of a man who calls himself a professional kidnappers. Asked. He says he's kidnapped this woman's daughter and he wants only one thing you know what kidnappers want. They want money Judy asked us to hide her identity to protect her family she says a man who called her cell phone first claiming he had her daughter you thought you. Heard her daughter's yes she just kept saying mom you've got to help me you gotta do what they say they're gonna hurt me I'm you know. I I'm scared I need your help. Then he gave Judy only sixty seconds to get in her car and drive to the bank. They're. Very Warren. I. It's a terrifying scams called virtual kidnapping I heard my daughter crying and he he says you all you want me to cut off her fingers and send them to you. Judy ran to her neighbor's house for help her legs were shaking in her hands were shaken. She. Al I knew she was completely out of control. But Cheryl convinced Judy to hang up and called 911. And his so called kidnapped her never called back. None of her daughters had been kidnapped it was a very very cruel. And I mean it was what two and a half hours. The FBI says virtual kidnapping is on the rise and social media is making it easier than ever for criminals to no personal information about their victims. It's fairly easy today because of social media to figure out where people live that's not difficult to figure out their phone numbers. Judy says well she know was it was all just a hoax she still recovering it was so real to you. I can't look back at. And laugh but wasn't you know from Israel for Good Morning America Abbie Boudreau ABC news Sacramento California. So chilling joining us now is cyber security expert Tyler Copeland. Would we were riveted watching that piece of a video quite happy when you are looking at. The ways what are some of the ways and more the ways that these virtual kidnappers are using social media to gain information about the victims. So what they are dealing Amy is they're going Syrian social media. And they're trying to build a pattern of life on you your family and your children. And where your loved ones are going to be at a certain period of time and sometimes I think we don't realize just how much information we give away. About ourselves on social media that's an example of that. Sure a good example is. You say. My daughter goes to dance class like this place every Saturday you take photographs of her every Saturday at that dance class well. That. Gives a target fodder for. Going after that child. It's going to be tough to investigate some time because some in scams originate overseas. And that is one of the biggest problems because. Is. Some of the scams are happening in a country that will not work with the United States well. The money is potentially lost they you've wired over. If so if you are a victim and that person for the phone to keep him on the phone recorder what do you do it's gonna some tips what she did. So what he won a deal is the first thing you DU is even though they say don't call law enforcement. You want to call law enforcement you want to try to use another device to reach out to your loved ones. And it's also extremely. Important. That. You take notes you try to get the IP address of the person and he knew is threatening you. And you also asked questions such jazz. Can I talk to you my loved one an often times when you get these phone calls it's gonna come for a number. It is not a number that she recognized. Pay Telekom would you think eyes and her mind.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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