The Local Area Commander for Perth and Kinross Tom Leonard, is warning residents over the risks of Online Webcam Extortion.
Online Webcam Extortion is a term which is given to demand money or other favours which involves the use of a chat application, the internet, and a webcam.
Webcam Extortion can affect young and old, male, and female alike and can happen when people create new relationships with people they don’t know.
After these relationships have grown, victims are enticed to reveal personal information about themselves or undergo activities that may compromise them.
The victim is then threatened by the scammer being warned that images or personal images or personal information will be made public unless favours are undertaken, or they are paid financially.
If a person finds themself in this position the first thing to do to keep calm and to recognise that you have been targeted, and that you need support and a case which the Police will take very seriously.
It is very important that the person do not hand over any money, on some occasions victims who have passed on money hear no more about it whereas others who have handed over money continued to receive further and often increasing demands.
If any victim does find themselves in a position where they have handed over money, they should immediately check to see if the transaction has gone through.
If it has, the victim should make a note on where it was collected from, if possible, however if no transaction has gone through the victim should immediately cancel the payment.
In some other cases when the victim has met the demands the offender will still go on to post the videos anyway.
Victims have been advised not to communicate any further with the offenders and to obtain any screenshots of communication. Report this matter by using the online reporting process to Skype, WhatsApp or YouTube and then deactivate your fakebook account.
Deactivating the Facebook account rather than shutting it down will ensure data is preserved and will assist law enforcement in obtaining evidence.
Once the offender is blocked, they cannot contact you so they cannot make demands or threats towards you, so they tend to move on to find other targets. There is a possibility they may go down other routes to try and contact you through other social media and communication sites.
For guidance on how to protect your property is available via Community Watch as well as on the Police Scotland Website here: https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/