Archive for: August, 2017

Victims Using Social Networking and Online Dating Sites Are Being Blackmailed and Extorted by Fraudsters

Victims using social networking and online dating sites are being targeted by fraudsters posing as attractive young women.

Victims are often lured into taking off their clothes in front of their webcam allowing the fraudster to record a video.

A threat is then made to publish the video with false allegations of pedophilia unless money is paid. Typically, the fraudster has already saved the victim’s Facebook friends and identified family members.

The fraudster then gives the victims instructions on how to send money to them…or else.

webcam extortion help

This is happening to victims from all over the world.

In fact, law enforcement from different ends of the globe say they are being told of incidents every day, with most probably going unreported.

One victim, a 28-year-old man, is willing to speak about his experience but wishes to remain anonymous.

“She sent me a message and I was happy because normally the girls don’t take the first step,” he says.

blackmail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at the video – you could see my face… you could see everything.

“She said she was English, living in Morocco. We then chatted for a bit on Facebook Messenger and I could see a video of her. She was a very beautiful girl, very pretty.”

“She was dressed to begin with and asked whether I would be interested in going further. I asked what that meant and she said she wanted to see my body… everything.

“She put on another video and started to undress. I was completely taken in. I had no idea this was a video. I thought it was real.

But her real intentions soon became clear.

 

“After five minutes, she sent me a message saying: ‘Have a look at this video I’ve taken of you. I am going to put it on YouTube unless you send me some money.’

“I looked at the video – you could see my face… you could see everything.”

Pedophilia allegations

On the same page, the victim saw many other similar videos of people entrapped in this way.

The blackmailer wanted 500 euros ($600) wired to the Czech Republic or else the video would remain online.

It was captioned with the victim’s name and the false allegation that he was performing a sexual act in front of a young girl.

Police have received a flood of reports of blackmail attempts fitting a similar description.

“At the moment we are persuaded that there are several blackmail attempts committed every day,” says Vincent Lemoine, a specialist in cybercrime in the Gendarmerie’s criminal investigations unit.

“Unfortunately, not everyone who finds themselves victims of this crime is coming forward to the police because these blackmail attempts are so intimate.”

We have received an alarming number of distressed emails from victims after they were trapped in this scam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His blackmailers were relentless and he could see no end to his ordeal. A week after the first demand, he killed himself.

If initial attempts to extort payment fail, the men behind the charming internet mask finally reveal themselves.

“The blackmailers also post the video up on a false website purporting to be part of a charity against pedophilia.

“At the same time, they email false documents, which indicate to the person that they have committed acts of pedophilia and to bring an end to the affair they have to pay a fine in the form of a donation to this fake charity.

Devastating

I spoke to one woman whose ex-husband paid out around $4,250 to blackmailers in June this year.

His blackmailers were relentless and he could see no end to his ordeal. A week after the first demand, he killed himself.

Journalist for the Le Monde newspaper Laure Belot has spoken to people who never thought they would be a victim of this kind of scam.

“We can say what an idiot for undressing in front of a webcam but our society is a society of solitude where people are alone in their rooms with a computer during the night.

“For a person who is already alone, you can imagine that this is enormously destructive. If you have people around you who can help, that is great, but often these are people who are alone and it can be very dramatic. If you are very young, this can be devastating.”

People get the feeling that when something is out there on the internet it is going to stay there forever.

“Fortunately, it is not always the case. And there are many, many cases in which you can intervene and get things removed from the internet, especially when it is pornography such as the webcam blackmail.”

YouTube does not host sexually explicit content and should such a video be posted on their site it can be flagged as inappropriate and taken down.

Police advise victims not to meet the blackmailer’s demands – the 28 year-old victim we spoke to refused to pay.  Another victim who paid up, ended up being asked for more.

They also advise victims of webcam blackmail to report it to them or make a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

Police have been investigating, but there is only so much they can do – current mechanisms for international co-operation between police are limited.

This sort of crime is only possible because of the unique anonymity and intimacy-at-a-distance which the internet affords.

If you have become a victim of this growing scam, please contact us immediately so we can help you.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Confirm Your Email (required)

Subject

How Did You Find Us?

Your Message

Read the rest

Houston man loses nearly $80K in romance scam

Tiffany Craig, KHOU
7:40 PM. CDT July 31, 2017

HOUSTON – Greg Davis is a busy man with two jobs. Admittedly, he doesn’t find time to meet women.

He decided to try online dating and quickly got results.

“I met the girl on match.com,” Davis said.

She was a knockout from Chicago and introduced herself as “Malikah.” Davis was drawn to the exotic-looking woman, and she seemed just as smitten.

“She pursued me, too, so I was like, ‘This is it,'” he recalled. “This is how it works.”

It didn’t take long for their online romance to graduate to emails, phone calls and a slew of provocative pictures.

THE MONEY

One day, a will arrived in Davis’ inbox. “Malikah” said her father had died and left her millions of dollars overseas. She just needed him to front some cash for taxes and shipping.

“It was increments of $5,000, $10,000,” he said. “It was also spent trying to pay for the fine that was on the money in storage.”

By the time we spoke with Greg, he had been talking to “Malikah” and sending money for two years.

THE CRIME

In 2016, the FBI said that 1,000 Texans reported being victims of the romance scam. Their loss is more than $16 million. Nationally, almost 15,000 victims forked over more than $230 million.

The crime is growing.

Sgt. Josh Nowitz is a certified scam examiner. He works at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“They put a million hooks in the water, and all they have to do is catch a couple to make it profitable for them,” he said.

Sgt. Nowitz said each romance scam case is unique but they all lead to the scammer asking for something.

“They’ll build up some sort of a relationship with this person through text through emails or sometimes even through Skype,” he said. “They’ll actually employ actors and things like that and so they’ll build up the relationship before asking for favors.”

THE REALITY

In Greg’s case, he drained his retirement, maxed out credit cards and took out more than a dozen payday loans.

His total loss is nearly $80,000.

“I feel kind of stupid,” Greg admits.

You see, he asked for proof that the inheritance was real.

He was sent a video.

In that video, a heavy-accented man is holding a stack of cash. There are rows of 100 dollar bills with “GREGORY” printed on every single note.

“I looked at it and took a $100 bill out of my pocket, and I put it down,” he said. “That’s not even close to being a currency, and so that’s when I knew the whole thing was all a mess.”

This was the moment Davis realized he was scammed.

As for that mystery woman, she could be anyone, but the pictures sent to Davis matched what we found on a Facebook page for a Colombian porn star.

“Make sure you’re actually face to face with that person you’re supposed to be dealing with, because the internet dating thing you don’t know what you’re getting,” he said

Photos: Houston man loses nearly 80k in romance scam

 

WATCH: Tiffany Craig talks with FBI agent about internet dating scams

© 2017 KHOU-TV

Read the rest