sextortion

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.

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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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Scots revenge porn blackmailer who hunted for victims on Grindr hit with extended five year prison sentence

A REVENGE porn blackmailer who hunted for victims on a gay dating website was given an extended five year prison sentence.

Reece Scobie, 23, of Inchture, between Dundee and Perth, blackmailed his victims by threatening to publish naked pictures of them on social media sites after meeting them on Grindr.

Central News

Scobie blackmailed his victims by threatening to publish naked pictures of them on social media

Scobie told his sextortion victims he would post explicit images they had sent him across the internet and pass them on to their family and friends.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis heard Scobie was a “borderline genius” who could have gone to university and called his case “somewhat tragic and a waste of ability.”

He told Scobie he would spend three years behind bars and a further two year extended sentence was imposed to protect the public from serious harm.

Scobie was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register and made the subject of a highly restrictive Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Among the restrictions is a ban on using social media like Facebook without special police approval.

Sheriff Foulis told Scobie that his three victims would have been extremely alarmed and distressed by the threats to make them the subject of revenge porn.

He was already on the Sex Offenders Register when he lured his victims – including a 15-year-old boy – into sending pictures of their genitals to him.

When they tried to break off contact with Scobie he threatened to hack Google and Facebook and find all the images of their faces which were present online.

Scobie told victims: “I’m going to go on Facebook and hack it. I’m going to distribute your dirty chat and nude photos.

“I’m going to send them individually to each and every one of your friends.

“This might take me all day but it will be worth it.

“I’m going to send them to your work and put them all over my Facebook.

“I will drive your life into the ground like a f***ing tent peg.

“This is a promise I intend to keep. I will also send your photos to your uni.

“If you want to sort this out I’m here to talk. If not – game on.”

Fiscal depute John Malpass told the court that Scobie – who also used the pseudonym Calum Maxwell – had found his victims on Grindr.

He said Scobie had been jailed in Iceland after being caught with child porn images on a flight to the USA and had been booted out of the country on February 8 last year.

Within a fortnight he had started seeking out victims on Grindr and had exchanged numbers with them so they could initially send each other text messages.

“The accused asked the first one to send naked photos of himself,” Mr Malpass said.

“The man was nervous but after some persuasion he sent photos.”

However, Scobie started acting “in a strange manner” and became aggressive towards his victims and started making threats when they tried to cut off contact with him.

He admitted that on March 8 last year he tried to extort responses to his text messages by threatening to publish naked images of one complainer on the internet.

He admitted threatening a second man in a similar way the following day and also that he would pass his naked pictures on to his family and friends.

Between March 1 and April 30 he admitted causing a 15-year-old child to participate in sexual activity by inducing him to create sexual images and send them to Scobie.

He admitted two further charges relating to the schoolboy including menacing him and trying to extort further images from him by threatening to publish his naked pictures online.

Scobie also admitted breaching bail by deleting the browser history on his mobile phone.

Mr Malpass told the court that Scobie’s victims were “concerned and frightened” and that the youngest victim was only discovered during an analysis of the paedophile’s phone after he was arrested.

Solicitor Gary McIlravey, defending, said: “What he said to me was that he was struggling with his sexuality at the time. This spiraled out of control.”

Earlier this year, Scobie was placed on the register after Police Scotland took a rare civil action based on his conviction from outside the United Kingdom.

Scobie, who has used stolen credit card details to travel the world, was jailed in Iceland after being found with child porn images and videos on his latest illicit trip to Seattle in the United States.

As well as being jailed for 12 months in Iceland last year, he was also ordered to pay the equivalent of £18,000 court costs after he admitted several frauds and having a large haul of child porn.

He was found with 4,750 photographs and 345 videos of child porn and the internet restricting conditions were in place upon his return to Scotland.

In 2013, Scobie, who was just 19, was locked up for 16 months after he admitted carrying out a massive con to fund his “fantasy” globetrotting lifestyle.

He was compared to notorious Catch Me If You Can fraudster Frank Abagnale in the wake of a global travel con funded by £70,000 he duped from travel agents.

Abagnale Jnr, played by Leonardo di Caprio in the movie, posed as an airline pilot to travel the world while taunting the authorities.

Scobie booked as many as 30 hotel rooms and at least five luxury holidays across the world each costing between £5,000 and £10,000.

The teenager – who lives with his mother – booked round the world trips taking in Dubai, Auckland, Atlanta, New York and Vancouver.


 


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