Forth Valley webcam blackmail and sextortion reports prompt police warning
Police have issued safety advice following reports of webcam blackmail and sextortion in Forth Valley.
The crime involves criminals befriending victims online by using fake identities on social media and dating apps and then persuading them to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam or send intimate photographs.
Officers say the perpetrators often use attractive women and men to entice the victim to participate.
The webcam videos are recorded before criminals threaten to share them with the victim’s family and friends, unless they pay.
Police state that the best way to protect potential victims from being affected by such an offence is to encourage them to be careful about who they befriend online just as they would offline, especially when considering sharing intimate images.
Those who find themselves in this situation should:
- Contact police and their internet service provider immediately. Police will take this seriously, deal with it in confidence and will not judge you.
- Don't communicate further with the criminals. Take screen shots of all your communication.
- Suspend your Facebook account – don’t delete it – and use online reporting processes to flag the matter up to Skype, YouTube etc. to have videos blocked and set up alerts in case the video resurfaces.
- Do not delete any correspondence.
For more safety information, click here for Police Scotland’s advice.
Further tips on internet dating can be found here.
A Forth Valley Police Division statement added: “If you're a victim of this type of crime and haven't already, please contact police on 101.”