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A 17-year-old Detroit teen, blackmailed on Facebook over a video obtained by a “rat” virus, wired hundreds of dollars to the blackmailer after stealing and pawning jewelry from his own parents.

A “rat” is a virus that goes into your computer and can turn on your webcam without you knowing, said the victim, Hector Hernandez. A rat is a remote access tool and it can be a violation of privacy to gain unauthorized control of computer.

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Hernandez said computer hackers obtained a video of Hernandez that they are now using to blackmail him, according to a report on Fox 2 in Detroit. The posts threatened to share the embarrassing video with friends, on Facebook and on his school’s website if he didn’t send money.

“I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I was trying to have them not send it,” Hernandez said on the report.

Cyber Security

“I didn’t want to tell my parents so I took their jewelry,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t want my parents finding out what I did and I feel terrible about it.” Hernandez said he believes he sold about $100,000 worth of jewelry and received $1,500 from the pawn shop.

Hernandez sent some of the money to the Phillipines, per the orders from the Facebook post, but the threats didn’t stop.

“They said they wanted $300 at first, and then $1,100, and then another $300,” Hernandez said on the report.

“I’m disappointed with him,” his mother, Lilia Hernandez said on the report.

The most recent post came on Sunday. But now that Hernandez’s parents know what’s going on no more money will go out. They are in the process of trying to get their valuables back.

Meanwhile Hernandez has a message for any computer user out there: “When you are not using your computer or laptop, unplug your webcam or close your laptop so your webcam doesn’t get turned on.”

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