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.










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.


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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Florida Man Allegedly Posted Explicit Photos of His Estranged Wife on Facebook

Steven Ward mugshot

Steven Ward posted explicit photo of estranged wife on Facebook

A man accused of posting sexually explicit photos of his wife on Facebook is being charged under a new state law that outlaws “revenge porn.”
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office charged Steven James Ward, 32, with sexual, cyberstalking and violation of pre-trial release after his wife showed deputies messages and the Facebook post.
Ward is facing charges under the state’s so-called revenge porn laws, which took effect in October. It makes it illegal to post sexually explicit photos in an effort to seek revenge or harass someone.

Ward was last arrested on Dec. 11, 2015 on domestic-violence related charges.

Reports show he was released four days later under the condition that he would only have consensual communications with his wife.

After that, Ward sent his wife harassing text messages and an explicit sexual photo of herself, deputies said.

He then sent her a screenshot of his public Facebook post, which included her name and a sexual image of her, deputies said.

She told deputies that those photos were sent when they were still together but were meant to remain private. Reports show the couple is still legally married.

She texted Ward, “DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE STEVEN” after receiving multiple unpleasant text messages from him, but deputies saw that he continued to text her.

Deputies arrested Ward at his Geneva home in rural Seminole County on Friday.

According to the arrest report, “Steven became belligerent when confronted and was immediately secured in handcuffs.”

Deputies said Ward was hostile toward detention deputies when given the opportunity to provide a sworn statement.

Ward remains at John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford without bail.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-revenge-porn-steven-james-ward-20160125-story.html… Read the rest

Facebook silent on federal revenge porn bill amid delays

Facebook is backing the criminalization of so-called revenge porn but has yet to take a public position on broader draft legislation in Congress.

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, said on Tuesday the company is focused on targeting the people who post intimate or nude images of others online without their consent. But she hesitated to say whether the company would back legislation that holds technology companies liable if they do not promptly remove the images when asked.

“I haven’t seen the federal legislation, so I am loath to comment on the federal legislation,” she told reporters after a presentation about Facebook’s projects and products dedicated to enhancing the “social good.”

“We do not tolerate revenge porn on Facebook, and we have reporting folks that do allow people to report and to take it down, and we do support the criminalization for people who post that non-consensual content,” she said.

“I think we really focus in on the people who are actually sharing those images without the consent of another person and on that behavior,” she added at another point.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has been working to unveil federal legislation and has had talks with tech companies and civil liberties groups about it. But the bill’s introduction has been delayed for months without explanation. Her office said Tuesday that staff is still finalizing language with colleagues in the Senate.

The tentatively titled Intimate Privacy Protection Act, as described, would make posting revenge porn a federal crime and would put companies such as Google, Facebook and other social media sites on the hook if they do not promptly remove the photos when asked.

The legislation would not target sites when they are unaware the content has been posted. It would also contain public interest and other exemptions, after civil liberties groups raised concerns about similar state laws that have been successfully challenged in court because of First Amendment concerns.

A number of major tech companies, including Facebook, have dedicated staff to responding to takedown requests for revenge porn and other abuse online.

Facebook, along with Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr and Yahoo, recently worked with California’s attorney general to outline a series of best practices to remove the content.

The best practices suggested strong terms of service that generally bar the practice and recommended a removal process of about two days that includes verification before images are blocked or removed.

The tech companies noted that there are limits to what they can do and specifically pointed out it would be infeasible to pre-approve or even “proactively monitor” potential instances of abuse.

In a statement released after she spoke to reporters, Facebook’s Davis said the company would “continue to promote tools to fight” revenge porn. And a spokeswoman said the company looks forward to reviewing the legislation once it is released.

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/257450-facebook-silent-on-federal-revenge-porn-bill-amid-delays… Read the rest

David Cameron nanny sex pictures: Charities issue revenge porn warning

The caregiver for the Prime Minister David Cameron’s children is a victim of revenge porn who had at least five sexually explicit pictures posted on three adult websites without her permission, according to reports that emerged over the weekend.

It has raised concerns of a “worst-case scenario” whereby the nanny, who has accompanied the family on foreign holidays and is said to be close to Mr Cameron’s wife, Samantha, could have been blackmailed over the images.

Police have reportedly been called in to investigate the incident after the woman, who has not been identified, said she believed the pictures were posted by one of her ex-boyfriends.

The photographs appear on one site next to links allowing members to buy further access including videos and webcam chats, the Sun reported, though the woman’s real name and details are not featured.

While the leaked images highlight security issues for Downing Street, they also come as a high-profile example of the wider problem of “revenge porn”, where former partners post sexual images online and then often extort victims for more pictures, money or worse.

Laura Higgins, helpline manager at the UK Safer Internet Centre, said that cases can involve pictures posted with links to people’s Facebook profiles and messages to their families and employers – and that security was “clearly an issue here”.

She told The Independent: “I’m not saying that there was necessarily a risk to David Cameron’s children, but obviously this person is potentially going to use the fact that she is in job she’s in for their own gain.

“We regularly see extortion involved – and in this case it is clearly taking it a little higher – but really this can happen to anybody.”

Ms Higgins said her organization, a partnership of three leading online safety charities, had seen the issue of revenge porn “blow up really quickly” and that reported cases were likely “just the tip of the iceberg”.

She said that with much more to be done by the courts, police and Crown Prosecution Service on the issue, she wanted to take something positive from an incident “so close to home” for the Prime Minister.

“I hope this case starts a conversation,” she said. “I was personally involved in giving evidence following David Cameron’s comments about internet security last summer, and I was able to give them specific examples of why this is an issue.

“But I think the fact that this is happening so close to home means it might well move up the agenda – which is a good thing, because we need the Government to work with us on this.”

Downing Street refused to comment on the pictures, but a source close to the nanny told The Sun: “She’s horrified these profiles have come to light and is mystified at how they got there. She insists it was nothing to do with her and must be down to one of her ex-boyfriends.

“It is worrying that someone would go to such lengths. She realizes that the worst scenario could have been if someone had used the stuff posted on there to try to blackmail her.”

David Cameron nanny sex pictures: Charities issue ‘revenge porn’ warning – The Independent
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Revenge porn victims receive boost from German court ruling

Intimate photographs should be deleted at the end of a relationship if one of the partners calls for it, a court in Germany has ruled.

The ruling by the Koblenz higher regional court has resonated throughout a digital world grappling with the balance between freedom of expression and privacy. It was welcomed by experts who said it would empower revenge porn victims to be more proactive when seeking the deletion of compromising images.

In the case concerned, a man from the Lahn-Dill region in Hesse had taken several erotic photographs of his female partner, to which she had consented at the time. After the end of their relationship, the woman had demanded the deletion of the images, seeking legal help when the man refused.

The Koblenz court ruled in her favour on Tuesday even though her ex-partner had to date shown no intention of reproducing the pictures or putting them online. Consent to use and own privately recorded nude pictures, the court stated, could in this instance be withdrawn on the grounds of personal rights, which are valued higher than the ownership rights of the photographer.

The court did specify that the woman could only seek the deletion of nude or erotic photographs, not those showing the couple fully clothed. The man may still appeal against the decision.

The ruling has been welcomed by both legal experts and support groups for victims of online bullying. Michaela Brauburger, who educates young people about responsible use of social media in Germany, told the Guardian: “Increasingly, young people share and upload images without giving it much thought. We constantly try to educate young girls in particular to think about what may happen to intimate photographs after they are taken. Hopefully this decision will empower them to broach the issue with their partners before it is too late.”

Lawyer Tim Geissler, who specializes in “revenge porn” cases, said that while there were ways in which people who had had compromising images of themselves published online could seek their deletion, they could only do so after the damage had been done. He cited the example of a couple from Düsseldorf in their early thirties. She was a part-time model, he was a hobby photographer and they liked taking pictures of each other: on holidays, at home, and sometimes in the bedroom.

The couple divorced in 2010 – the man had acted aggressively towards his wife and beaten her several times. A few months later, the woman discovered he had shared intimate photographs of her on Facebook, alleging she had started doing pornographic shoots since their separation.

She sought legal help and eventually a court ordered her ex-husband to delete the photographs from his Facebook account. But, Geissler said, had he posted the pictures anonymously, it may have been impossible to get a legal grip on the offender.

By the time the victim sought legal help, the offense had been committed but if the Koblenz ruling were to set a precedent, she could have asked for the pictures to be deleted straight after the divorce.

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, a professor of internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, warned against seeing the Koblenz decision as being the direct result of this month’s European court of Justice ruling against Google, which some say could help establish a pan-European “right to be forgotten“.

“The Koblenz decision was not about data protection but the ‘right for one’s own image’, which is a special construction of continental European jurisprudence,” said Mayer-Schönberger. “But what can be said is that is that these two rulings may make more and more people aware of their personal rights in the digital sphere. At the very least, it should embolden future claimants who pro-actively want to prevent revenge porn.”

“We can detect a wider trend here,” said Christian Solmecke, a German lawyer who has worked on a number of “revenge porn” cases. “In the future we may increasingly find that images or data whose publication was lawful at the time may have to be deleted as circumstances change”.

‘Revenge porn’ victims receive boost from German court ruling – The Guardian
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Does Microsoft Care About Victims of Revenge Porn?

Microsoft, Bing, and Yahoo Support Online Harassment and Bullying

While Google Chooses to Support Victims of Revenge Porn

By Al Szajman

One very evil man has targeted a person very dear to me by posting lies and falsified photos about her on a horrible, nasty “revenge” site. These sites don’t care about truth and allow anonymous postings because they merely want to collect huge fees from victims (for removing the lies and offensive images). Then, once they take items down, they still keep the information “invisible” to the eyes on their site but readable by search engine web crawlers (via something called a “302” status versus what should really be a “404 page not found” status). In short, even though the offending content is no longer posted on the site, a Yahoo or Bing search of her name delivers high ranking results (page one and/or two) that indicate she is still on that site.

One month ago yesterday, I personally pointed this out to Tech Support at (Microsoft-owned) Bing – which also powers Yahoo’s search engine – and Google. Google removed the offending results within one week. Yesterday, four weeks later, Bing (and in turn, Yahoo) still hasn’t done so and blame the web site for “hiding” the information that its web crawler is still reading.

In short, Google chose to be a responsible corporate citizen and deleted the offending search results. Period. No excuses, no lame cop outs; just the honorable and humane decision to protect victims of revenge porn.

Bing, Yahoo and Microsoft have chosen to support and enable not just this horrible site, but the miscreant who we suspect also posted these outright lies and defamatory photos in the first place. By choosing to do nothing, Bing, Yahoo and Microsoft are choosing to enable a very sick man – who had a court order of protection against him – to continue to harass my friend and put her through horrible emotional stress. In fact, Bing is even choosing to ignore court orders for the removal of defamatory content!


More people need to know that Microsoft, Bing and Yahoo are complicit partners when it comes to facilitating online bullying. They are perfectly comfortable with abetting such evil and making money doing so.

Thank you in advance for helping inform the public of this inexcusable and disgusting decision by Microsoft, Bing and Yahoo.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/al.szajman


All views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of DMCA Defender or DMCA Defender’s partners.… Read the rest

Melissa Esplin: Revenge Porn Victim Strikes Back With FBI Help

Melissa Esplin is a successful blogger, wife, mommy of two, and craft project extraordinaire. Melissa Esplin was also the victim of cyber-bullying at its worst. She became the victim of a startling and invading trend on the internet, “revenge porn.”In an age where everyone has a blog, getting noticed can be a difficult task. Many experts suggest finding something you are good at and becoming a voice for that content. Melissa Esplin uses her blog and her YouTube page to post creative ideas and projects, hoping to help others be successful in the same endeavors. Melissa is active on social media and often post pictures of her family, as many Americans do. But one day, the Salt Lake City mother started receiving very strange Facebook and Twitter messages.What Melissa Esplin discovered next was enough to make her want to throw up. One of the revenge porn suitors wrote her a letter letting her know that her pictures were being used on a website in sexual positions. If Esplin wanted them to be removed, she needed to visit the website and click on a link to have them removed. Unsure of her decision, she went over to the revenge porn site and was horrified. Her face was plastered on images of naked women, not her own, doing very pornographic things.Melissa Esplin clicked on the link to have the images removed, only to find that she was now also the victim of extortion. The revenge porn website owners wanted $400 from her to take the images down. Not to mention they would need her credit card information. Smart enough to know better than to handle the situation on her own, Esplin contacted the FBI and local news station KSL.

Whether or not Melissa Esplin, 29, can ever have the pictures fully removed is difficult to know. Revenge porn sites like the one where she found her picture are hard to track down. Former FBI agent Brad Garrett told Good Morning America, “The internet is hard to control. And there’s not much you can do once your pictures are misused.”

In a special piece last year, ABC News spoke to some women who had been the victim of revenge porn like Melissa Esplin. They were out to bring down the people who were exposing and exploiting them. Their stories helped shed light on the global internet cyber-bullying tactic.



Melissa Esplin: ‘Revenge Porn‘ Victim Strikes Back With FBI Help – The Inquisitr

Melissa Esplin: ‘Revenge Porn’ Victim Strikes Back With FBI Help

revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through Revenge Porn

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s called revenge porn, and it’s a growing problem, impacting thousands of lives. Couples trust each other with intimate photos, then become victims of the digital age.

A Towson woman tells Linh Bui how she’s fighting back after she’s exposed.

Annmarie Chiarini is a respected English professor, a single mother of two and a victim of revenge porn.

It’s a growing problem on the Internet, where former lovers get revenge by posting their ex’s racy photos that were supposed to be for their eyes only.

Annmarie’s problems start when she goes on Facebook and reconnects with a former boyfriend after almost 20 years.

“I was shocked and thrilled and it’s that whole, ‘Oh my gosh!’” she said.

Thinking he’s the one, Annmarie even lets him take explicit naked photos of her. But then, he starts to change.

“He was getting more and more manipulative and even more controlling,” she said. “He had threatened to sell the pictures that I had allowed him to take. He said, ‘I will destroy you’ and hung up the phone.”

With just a few clicks, he inflicts maximum damage, targeting her family, friends, students and bosses with links to her racy photos.

Reporter: “When you first saw that email and you saw that these pictures of you were out there for everyone to see, what was your reaction?”

Annmarie: “I had lost control. Somebody else was in the driver’s seat of my life and I was at his mercy. I realized this is my life and this is never going to end.”

Annmarie isn’t alone. Other victims have joined forces to make revenge porn a crime.

WJZ investigates, learning more than 1,200 victims have contacted the cyber civil rights initiative in the last six months and more than 45 websites are devoted exclusively to revenge porn.

“It’s either every day or twice a day victims get in touch with me,” said Prof. Danielle Citron, University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Citron is an expert on revenge porn.

“It is creating so much social harm for victims, for society, for the kinds of expectations we have of each other. We can no longer trust one another,” she said.

Feeling betrayed and humiliated, Annmarie takes a handful of prescription pills to end her life.

“I questioned my ability to be a role model to my children,” Annmarie said. “I didn’t want to embarrass them, I didn’t want them to go through school saying, ‘Oh, your mom’s the one who’s naked on the Internet.’”

“I somehow needed to make sure that nobody else felt this way, that nobody else hit this low,” she continued.

When Annmarie finds out there are no laws to punish her ex-boyfriend, she comes to Annapolis and teams up with Delegate Jon Cardin to make revenge porn a crime.

“At the click of a mouse you can ruin somebody’s reputation, you can ruin their life, you can cause them significant psychological anguish,” Del. Cardin said. “We want people to think twice before clicking the mouse.”

“Until the law in Maryland is passed I won’t truly know peace,” Annmarie said.

Under Cardin’s proposal, posting sexually explicit material of someone without their consent would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through ‘Revenge Porn’ – CBS Local
Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through ‘Revenge Porn’
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Victims Of Revenge Porn Open Up On Reddit About How It Impacted Their Lives – Huffington Post

A law passed in Israel on Jan. 6 states that uploading explicit pictures or videos without the subject’s consent is a form of sexual harassment, punishable by up to five years in prison. And given the horrifying stories of “revenge porn” victims , we hope to see similar legislation pass worldwide.

This week, Redditor TastyJams asked users: “Those who have naked pictures on the Internet; how did they get there and how has it affected your life?”

Several of the men and women who commented had willingly shared intimate photographs online and reported few or no repercussions or regrets. However, respondents whose images were posted by ex-partners — or so-called friends — were much more likely to report long-term effects like sexual shame, disruption to their education or employment, and trust issues.

One user created a “throwaway” Reddit account to share her story:

When I was married, my then husband and I made a homemade porn. I thought it was a good idea at the time and I was very wrong. Not too long after we made said porn, I found out he had been cheating and I left him. I had completely forgot that we had even a video until a co-worker came to me and said he got a very interesting email from my ex (they were friends) and showed me the link. That f**king asshole uploaded the video to porn site. He sent the link to everyone we know, including family. I was completely mortified to find out he had done this.

Needless to say, I had to quit my job and move back to my home province. I was being harassed at my job (I worked in a factory, it was mostly men that worked there). I couldn’t bear to see or hang out with any of my friends.

To the younger female redditors, no matter how much you trust and love him/her, do not make videos or let your [partner] take pics of you naked, that shit will come back to haunt you.

This user was just one of many to express such regrets. Here are five things victims of revenge porn reported feeling:

1. Humiliation. “My ex logged into my Facebook and took naked pictures that I had sent to my new [partner] over messenger and posted them for all to see,” one user posted. “My family saw, my friends saw, my Facebook got shut down for nudity and it took forever to get back. Now I’m extremely paranoid about my passwords and check my content religiously.”

2. Concern for their personal safety, especially when revenge porn postings are accompanied by personal information like email addresses, full names and phone numbers. One Redditor didn’t feel safe in her home after her naked pictures and contact information were shared online: “I got moved to accommodations that had on-duty personnel staffed 24 hours a day for my safety once I reported everything,” she wrote.

3. A need for hypervigilance. Years after her ex-boyfriend uploaded intimate images of her, professor Annmarie Chiarini shared her story in The Guardian:

I oscillated between panic and persistent anxiety. I would wake up at 3am and check my email, my Facebook page, eBay, then Google my name, a ritual I performed three times before I could settle back down. In September 2011, I was thrown into panic again after I read an anonymous email alerting me to an online profile that featured nude pictures of me.

4. Fear of being watched during sex. One Redditor commented that her worries of being exposed on the Internet have affected her sex life: “I confiscate all forms of technology and make sure the laptop is closed (fear of webcam) before I have sex.”

5. Body shame. A Redditor who was underage when a “friend” unknowingly took pictures of her changing into a bikini and posted them around their school wrote that the experience made her ashamed of her body: “The school got my parents in to look at/discuss it. My mother believed I’d taken them, and kids branded me a slut and a whore and made references to my body for the rest of my school life. I despised my body for many years after that.”

If your life has been impacted by “revenge porn” and you’d like to share your story, send your age, first name or initials, and geographic location to women@huffingtonpost.com.

Victims Of ‘Revenge Porn’ Open Up On Reddit About How It Impacted Their Lives – Huffington Post
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest