Pornography scare used to scam people out of money
ZACHARY - An internet hoax created by scammers nearly caught a woman in our area Monday.
Her internet devices were locked and only showed a phony FBI notification alerting her to an investigation over her viewing of child pornography and rape videos.
"I thought I was legally in trouble whether I'd done anything or not and I needed to protect myself," Donna Thompson said.
The message suggested she was in serious trouble.
"There was a fine that was going to be involved and jail time," she said. "I was freaking out."
But her horror quickly faded when she noticed the warning came with a buyout: it suggested paying a $300 fine.
"If somebody was [really] involved in this they'd say 'let me just pay the money and get this over with,'" Thompson thought as she realized it was a scam that preyed on people who were unsuspecting.
An FBI spokesperson told WBRZ News 2usually if something is odd it probably isn't legit and people should follow their gut.
The agency estimated nearly $500,000 is stolen by scammers each year.
"If somebody is under investigation for some kind of internet crime the law enforcement agency is not going to contact them via email and they are most certainly not going to ask them to send money," La. State Trooper Jared Sandifer said.