Is online blackmail in relation to sexual acts. Many people, both man and women, of all different ages, fall victim to this type of crime.Many people use webcams for flirting and cybersex – but sometimes people you meet online aren’t who they say they are. Criminals might befriend victims online by using a fake identity and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam, often by using an attractive woman to entice the victim to participate. These women may have been coerced into these actions using financial incentives or threats.
These webcam videos are recorded by the criminals who then threaten to share the images with the victims’ friends and family. This can make the victims feel extremely ashamed and embarrassed and, tragically, here in the UK at least four young men have taken their own lives after being targeted in this way.
Both men and women can be victims of this crime, either by being blackmailed or by being coerced into carrying out sexual acts.
The best way to stop yourself from becoming a victim is to be very careful about who you befriend with online, especially if you’re considering sharing anything intimate with them.
Has this happened to you?
•Happening now? Call the police on 999
•If this has happened recently, call the police on 101
•Do not pay any money
•Stop communicating with the person immediately
•Report to your internet service provider
•Screengrab and write down as much information
•If you’re under 18, report to Child Exploitation and Online Protection
Make a note of all details provided by the offenders, for example; the Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), the Facebook URL; the Western Union or MoneyGram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN); any photos/videos that were sent, etc.
Be aware that the scammer’s Skype name is different to their Skype ID, and it’s the ID details that police will need. To get that, right click on their profile, select ‘View Profile’ and then look for the name shown in blue rather than the one above it in black. It’ll be next to the word ’Skype’ and will have no spaces in it.
DO NOT DELETE ANY CORRESPONDENCE.
Remember that you’re the victim of organised criminals – you’re not alone and confidential support is available. You can get through this.
Further help and support
If this has happened to you and you’re under 18 please talk to an adult that you trust. It may feel like there is no way out, but there are professionals who can help you.
You can also get help from:
• http://www.papyrus-uk.org – provides confidential advice and support and works to prevent young suicide in the UK.
• www.samaritans.org – to talk any time you like in your own way and off the record