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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.

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North Carolina bill to expand ‘revenge porn’ law gets final legislative OK

The General Assembly has given final approval to expand North Carolina’s “revenge porn” law to cases beyond those where the people already had relationships. (Photo credit: Pixabay)

The General Assembly has given final approval to expand North Carolina’s “revenge porn” law to cases beyond those where the people already had relationships.

The House voted unanimously Tuesday to accept changes approved by the Senate last week, sending the bill to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

Current law makes it illegal for someone to disclose nude or sexual images of a person without the person’s consent and with the intent to identify the person and cause harm.

ws now helping victims get justice

The bill would extend the penalties to cases involving strangers and would punish anyone who obtained such images without the permission of the person in the image.

It also calls to study whether the proposal should include instances in which a person’s image is superimposed onto another image containing nude or sexual content.

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Cyber Abuse: Tackling the Revenge Porn Epidemic

The internet age has brought with it many new challenges for the law and human rights, but few are as insidious as the phenomenon known as ‘revenge porn’.

What is ‘sexting’ and ‘revenge porn’?

Sexting involves the sharing, typically by a mobile device, of sexually explicit images, videos or messages from one person to another. Sexting between consenting adults is, in itself, completely harmless, but it can create a risk of the ‘sexted’ material later being used as revenge porn.

Revenge porn is when a person shares, usually through an online medium, sexually explicit images or videos of another without their consent for the purposes of revenge. Figures from a US study indicate that 90% of revenge porn victims are female.

In truth, revenge porn is just a type – albeit the most notorious – of ‘non-consensual porn’, where erotic material is shared against the subject’s will. Revenge for a break-up is a common motivation behind this behaviour, but it can also be done to make money, as a form of intimidation, or even just for a ‘laugh’.

Why is it such a problem?

The consequences of revenge porn for the victim are devastating. Many develop symptoms of anxiety and depression, stemming from the betrayal of trust and constant fear that they might be recognised from explicit images. In some cases this material may be shared with a victim’s work or family, leading them to be fired and sometimes shunned by relatives. Victim-blaming is rife in cases of revenge porn, which only adds to the distress suffered. It’s clear that extreme harm is suffered by victims of revenge porn.

Perpetrators also have a tendency to share the victim’s personal details, putting them at risk of being stalked or worse. In one case, Kayla Laws received death threats after an image of her was posted to a now-defunct revenge porn website.

As younger generations become increasingly tech-literate, there is an emerging problem of minors creating and sharing explicit images that find their way onto the internet. Once online this material is nearly impossible to control, and can be easily accessed by pedophiles hidden behind a veil of anonymity. Indeed, the Lanzarote Committee of the Council of Europe has recently announced a new round of monitoring that will focus in part on this specific issue.

The human rights angle

There are two competing rights that lie at the heart of this problem: the right to a private life guaranteed by Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, and freedom of expression protected by Article 10.

Revenge porn is a gross violation of the victim’s privacy, exposing highly personal images to thousands without their consent. It is an intimate form of abuse that not only degrades the victim, but robs them of their private identity – and for many this is where the conversation ends.

However, the US has faced particular difficulty in outlawing revenge porn due to the robust protection of free expression in the First Amendment. The fear among free speech advocates is that any restriction on what one can post to the internet could lead to a ‘slippery slope’ that opens the door to more draconian forms of censorship.

Under the Human Rights Convention, which takes effect in UK law through the Human Rights Act, free expression may be restricted for several reasons, including:

  • For the purposes of public safety;
  • To protect the reputation and rights of others; and
  • To prevent the disclosure of information received in confidence.

So what’s being done about revenge porn?

The first concern of many victims is to ensure that the revenge porn is taken down. But this is easier said than done. Once an image or video is uploaded to the internet it can circulate very quickly, and anyone can download it to their computer where it becomes very difficult for the authorities to find. To address this, efforts are being made to deter people from posting revenge porn in the first place.

Prior to 2015, victims had to rely on obscenity laws and offences relating to harassment and blackmail to get justice, but these were ill-suited to the problem. Revenge porn has now been criminalised in the UK by section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This makes it a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years in prison, to disclose a ‘private sexual photograph or film’ without the consent of the subject, and with the intention of causing distress.

But there are concerns that this does not go far enough. It can be very difficult to prove that a perpetrator intended to cause distress. The law also does not cover people who share non-consensual porn for financial or other reasons – such as the hacker who leaked private pictures of A-list celebrities in 2014.

There are also questions as to how far criminality should extend in these cases. Should people who view or subsequently share revenge porn be criminally liable? Should the owners of websites be responsible for ensuring that revenge porn is not displayed on their site?

These are questions that will have to be answered, but for the moment it is clear that the authorities are not holding back on using the new criminal offence. It was reported in September 2016 that over 200 people have been prosecuted under the new law.

About the Author
Saxon Norgard

Saxon Norgard

Saxon is an undergraduate at Cardiff University studying a Bachelor of Laws. Originally hailing from Australia, his interests lie in family law, international affairs and human rights. View all posts by Saxon Norgard.

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Marines being investigated over salacious photo sharing of women service members


Top brass in the U.S. Marines are denouncing  in vigorous terms misbehavior by Marines online, including photographing and sharing photos of women recruits and veterans and making salacious comments about them.

“There is no place for this type of demeaning or degrading behavior in our Corps,” said Sergeant Major Ronald L. Green, 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in a statement to CBS News.

Green was responding to reports published by the Center for Investigative Reporting that hundreds of Marines are being investigated for using social media to solicit and share hundreds — possibly thousands — of naked photographs of women service members and veterans.

“Let me be perfectly clear; no person should be treated this way. It is inconsistent with our Core Values, and it impedes our ability to perform our mission,” said Sergeant Major Green.

On its Reveal web site, the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since Jan. 30, more than two dozen women, including active duty and enlisted service members had been identified by their rank, full name and military duty station in photographs posted and linked to from a private Facebook page called “Marines United.”

In one instance cited in the report, a woman corporal in uniform was followed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina by a fellow Marine, who surreptitiously photographed her as she picked up her gear. The picture was posted to the Marines United private FB page, where dozens of obscene, sexually explicit comments were posted.

A Marine Corps official told CBS News’ Cami McCormick that when they learned of the private website, they started asking questions and “within hours the site was gone.”

“Whoever runs it kept moving it, making it hard to even find what the scope of it was’, said the official, adding that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is looking into the matter. The official expressed sympathy the women involved.

“People will immediately start blaming victims, and we are most concerned about them. They may have taken pics meant to be private and then those images could have been shared by a former close friend. So many questions that we just don’t have answers to at this point.”

The online activity was first posted by The War Horse, a nonprofit news organization run by Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient Thomas Brennan, who wrote the piece for the Reveal web site.

Within hours Brennan became the target of online threats, like “waterboard this p-o-s” and “I’ll pay 500 to the dude that can get good nudes of his girl.”

“I’ve scrolled by things like this on Facebook before. I think this is a good gut check for a lot of people. We have all scrolled by things we shouldn’t tolerate on social media,” Brennan told CBS News on Sunday.

On Sunday, The War Horse web site had a popup message with information on how to report harassment related to Marines United — and a contact number for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service which is investigating.

“Do you think you are or may have been a victim of sexual harassment or misconduct on Marines United?

Both active military and civilians can report a crime or share information on Marines United discreetly, anonymously and safely to NCIS via text, the web, or the NCIS smart phone app. The NCIS number is (877) 579-3648.”

This all comes just two months after the first female infantry Marines headed to Camp LeJeune. In late 2015, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all military positions to women, including combat roles.

“The Marine Corps is deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in a closed website. This behavior destroys morale, erodes trust, and degrades the individual. The Marine Corps does not condone this sort of behavior, which undermines our core values. As General Neller said in his recent Message to the Force, the Marine Corps’ success in battle depends on trust, mutual respect, and teamwork,” said Captain Ryan Alvis, a public affairs officer for the Marines.

“The Marine Corps takes every allegation of misconduct seriously. Allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated and handled at the appropriate judicial or administrative forum. A Marine could potentially be charged for violating Article 133 (for officers) or Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). If a Marine shared a photo of another person that was taken without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which that other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Marine may have violated Article 120c, UCMJ, for broadcasting or distribution of an indecent visual recording. A Marine who directly participates in, encourages, or condones such actions could also be subjected to criminal proceedings or adverse administrative actions.”

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revenge porn case in perthshire

Perthshire man awaits sentencing after posting revenge porn of ex-girlfriend

A married Perthshire man posted sexually explicit pictures of his ex-girlfriend on a pornographic website after she ended their 10-month affair.

Perth Sheriff Court was told yesterday that 52-year-old Raymond Wishart had met the woman on a dating website but he couldn’t come to terms with the split and, after drinking, sent the revenge porn images to a website called XHamster.

They were spotted by a work colleague of hers in Perth – and the police were alerted.

Initially, 27 images of the female had been posted, depute fiscal Stuart Richardson told the court.

“A few of the photographs were simply of her in normal attire, not doing anything in particular,” he explained.

But 10 of them were “sexually explicit”.

“They had been on the website, prior to the work colleague noticing them, for a period of 23 days and would obviously have been available to anybody else going to that particular website,” added the fiscal.

There was also a second gallery of 18 photos which had only been posted some two days earlier.

Some again were just normal photographs but three depicted sexual intercourse and other sexual acts.

The catalogue of vile pictures led to Wishart, of King’s Road, Coupar Angus, appearing on indictment.

He will be sentenced on August 31 after background reports have been prepared.

He had his name added to the Sex Offenders’ Register on an interim basis yesterday before the sheriff decides whether there was a “significant sexual element” to his actions.

A prosecution motion to impose a Non-Harassment Order, to protect the victim from further unwanted attention, was continued to the same date.

He admitted that between June 19 and July 3, 2015, at his home, her workplace and elsewhere, he engaged in a course of conduct which caused his ex-girlfriend fear and alarm. He admitted sending her flowers and posting the sexually explicit photographs – and other images of her – on various pornographic websites.

Mr. Richardson said that at the end of the 10-months she had “second thoughts” about the relationship and wanted it to come to an end.

“That information was given by her to Mr. Wishart. Unfortunately, it became clear this wasn’t a situation which he was able, at that time, to accept.”

On the evening of July 2, 2015, a colleague of hers was browsing a website which specializes in pornographic images. While doing that, he came across her name beside a series of photographs.

At work the following day, he reported the matter to the female’s supervisor who spoke to the victim. She went to the website and saw for herself the various images.

Mr. Richardson said he had lodged a victim impact statement the accused’s ex-girlfriend had sent to his office.

Solicitor Rosie Scott said her client stayed at home with his wife and worked part time.

“He’s fully aware the impact these pictures must have had on the female and he very much regrets that.’’

Wishart had his bail conditions, including a ban on him contacting or approaching the victim, continued until next month.
Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/perthshire-man-awaits-sentencing-after-8454240#CVotuMZ2J2o01cxY.99

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Push to bring ‘revenge porn’ to an end

Push to bring 'revenge porn' to an endThe Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, is hoping to bring ‘revenge porn’ to an end by introducing an online complaints mechanism for victims.

The mechanism aims to confront angry partners who use technology and social media to share intimate images of former spouses.

The move will be funded from the existing $100 million allocation in the budget.

“Sexual violence is a heinous crime and revenge porn is a grave violation of a person’s freedom,” Senator Cash said.

In April, three Melbourne teenagers were victims of revenge porn.

According to Fairfax, 18-year-old Jess Treloar-Walker, was horrified to find nude photos of herself had been shared on a revenge porn Facebook page.

She said she felt she’d been promoted as a “sex toy”.

“He pretty much just said that I deserved to be exposed. It’s their way of getting back at us,” she said.

“I was so confused, I hadn’t done anything wrong by him. It was so disgusting, I was so angry.”

It is understood images of the victims were taken from Snapchat, some were stolen and videos had been taken ‘mid-act’.

Photo and images were previously being shared to a hidden Facebook page called ‘Melbourne Men’s Society’, which reportedly had 7000 members and another 4500 awaiting approval.

The group has since been shut down.

The harrowing tales echo Senator Cash’s sentiment that more protection is needed to avoid more people becoming victim to these revenge cases.… Read the rest

Hillary Clinton Just Promised to Take on Revenge Porn

Hillary Clinton vows to take on revenge porn if electedIt’s not a topic typically discussed on the presidential campaign trail, but Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that if she were elected President, she would do whatever she could to help fight revenge porn.

Clinton was hosting a live-streamed town hall on Tuesday and taking questions from YouTube stars and other online content creators when she was asked a question about the topic, according to New York magazine.

YouTube star Chrissy Chambers, who has spoken publicly about being a victim of revenge porn, said, “In 2015 I came out as one of the first public figures who was a victim of revenge porn… And ever since have been trying to pursue justice for myself as well as other victims.”

Chrissy told The Guardian in an interview that when she was 18, her then-boyfriend assaulted her and filmed the pair having sex while she was extremely intoxicated. Chrissy didn’t remember the encounter and wasn’t aware that he filmed it until a year after they broke up, when he allegedly uploaded the video to porn sites.

By the time the video began circulating, Chrissy had already created a successful YouTube channel with her new love, Bria, and when their fans discovered the video they began angrily commenting on YouTube, calling Chrissy a “slut,” she told The Guardian. Chrissy is suing her ex-boyfriend in England, where he allegedly uploaded the video, which now has revenge porn laws on the books.

Chrissy asked Clinton what she would do to ensure that justice can be pursued for survivors of that sort of harassment. While the former First Lady was a bit startled by the inquiry at first, she quickly composed herself and acknowledged that negativity can be rampant online and noted that she was “Exhibit A.”

“I will do everything I can as president, to try and figure out how we can give victims like you, the tools you need, and the rest of society should support, to be able to protect yourself and by doing so, protect others,” Clinton responded.

The presumptive Democratic nominee then thanked Chrissy for her bravery in speaking out on the difficult topic.

Currently, 34 states have laws that deal with revenge porn in some manner, but there is still no federal law criminalizing it. A president who’s committed to tackling all forms of online bullying could offer significant weight to the fight to protect victims of this sort of crime.
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Man pleads guilty to internet stalking after posting nude pictures of his ex online

SAN ANTONIO – A man plead guilty to an internet stalking charge after posting nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend online.

62-year-old Mark Joseph Uhlenbrock plead guilty to internet stalking after photos of his ex-girlfriend appeared on myex.com and other websites without her consent.

Uhlenbrock admitted that during his relationship with the victim, he caused emotional distress to the victim.

In August 2015, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Uhlenbrock’s resident and seized computers that held nude photos of the victim and bookmark links to sites where the photos were posted.

Uhlenbrock faces up to five years in federal prison.

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Revenge Porn Help DMCA Defender

Threatening to circulate revenge porn could be criminalized across Britain

New laws have been proposed for England and Wales that would criminalize not only the circulation of revenge porn, but also threatening to circulate it. The definition of what constitutes revenge porn could also be expanded.

This level of criminalization is already in force in Scotland, and Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael believes that the rest of Britain should follow suit. If adopted, the proposed change would see revenge porn threats seen in much the same light as other forms of blackmail.

Scottish law already makes it an offense to share, or threaten to share, intimate images and videos. Anyone contravening the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill faces a potential sentence of two years.

Carmichael has also proposed that the types of sexual video and images covered by revenge porn laws be widened. He wants the definition to include not only ‘exposed genitals’, but also footage of ‘breast and buttocks’. The proposals will be debated and voted upon this week.

The proposed changes have been put forward not just to bring England and Wales in line with Scotland, but also to try to do something about the small number of convictions that have been made under existing laws. Carmichael has already put forward amendments that would give revenge porn victims the benefit of anonymity. He said:

“We must act to do everything we can to empower victims to come forward. That is why I have tabled a raft of amendments to strengthen the law and ensure that victims aren’t left suffering in silence. I hope to get the support from MPs across the house and hope that the government agrees with me that more must be done to help and support victims of this horrific act.”
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Even threatening to circulate revenge porn could be criminalized across Britain

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15 year old commits suicide over nude snapchat video

15-year-old kills herself after nude Snapchat video circulates

On Sunday afternoon, a 15-year-old freshmen at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel, Florida, committed suicide after her friends, using Snapchat, recorded a nude video of her while she was in the shower. The teen’s mother Levon Holton-Teamer said that she had sent her daughter Tovonna to clean her room, but that when she went to check on her minutes later, she made a chilling discovery. “I go to the bathroom; I couldn’t get in the bathroom. The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her,” a distraught Holton-Teamer told a local TV station on Wednesday. Tovonna had removed the gun from her mother’s purse and used it to fatally shoot herself. She died hours later.

Holton-Teamer said that earlier that day her daughter had told her she was worried about a nude photo her friends had taken of her without her permission. After Tovonna shot herself, her aunt, Angel Scott, took to Facebook in search of answers. “I just said, ‘If anybody knows anything, what happened?’ … I thought it was just pictures and then the kids started inboxing me. Everybody was out there talking about her and calling her names.”

Detectives from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case, and Tovonna’s family say they intend to seek justice. “I want them to pay, to feel what we’re feeling. Even if their child is convicted or in trouble, they can go visit their child,” said Scott. A photo of Tovonna, together with the hashtag #stopbullying, is being shared by supporters of the family on social media in order to raise awareness to the traumatic outcomes that bullying can bring about.

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