North Wales police warning over online “sextortionists”
Police are warning men and women across North Wales to be wary of online “sextortionists” who blackmail victims by threatening to post explicit footage of them on the internet.
A number of people have contacted North Wales Police recently after being instructed to pay large sums of money into offshore bank accounts.
Officers say the blackmailers have lured victims into online video sex chats and then sent screen grabs to them along with demands for cash.
The recent spike in offences has prompted detectives to issue a warning for people to be vigilant.
Victims were asked to pay a significant amount of cash by money transfer to an offender who threatened to post the compromising images to other sites whilst notifying their family and friends via social media.
The offenders usually target their victims by adding them as a friend on social media sites such as Facebook, or through conversations on Skype or FaceTime.
Detective Constable David Owens of the North Wales Police said;
“In most of the cases the videos have not actually been distributed, but it has nevertheless been a difficult and traumatic ordeal for the people involved, who are understandably very worried about the consequences of such images and videos being posted online.”
“The blackmailers are calculating and malicious and have a complete disregard for the people they’re exploiting.”
“Cases of this type are notoriously complex and because offenders’ addresses are usually traced back to foreign countries, they often, despite our best efforts, go unsolved. We are working closely with partner agencies.
“However, the only real way to prevent this from happening is by not taking part in such activity at all.”
“The moment you take part in such an online video you become vulnerable to exploitation and it’s the blackmailers who instantly take control of the situation.”
The advice is simple;
1. Do not befriend anyone you don’t know – you have no idea who they are.
2. Update the privacy settings on your social networking accounts so only people you know can view your account.
3. If you become a victim of this type of scam, do not respond to the blackmailer’s demands, but report the issue to the police and the relevant social networking site.
For further advice please visit https://getsafeonline.org/social-networking/webcam-blackmail/ Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com