POLICE have warned people not to post anything online they would not want people to see after a young man from Windsor fell victim to a ‘sextortion’ blackmail scam.
The man, who has not been named by police, performed an intimate act on a video call with a woman he met on a dating app.
Soon after this, she told him she had videoed him doing this and threatening to put the content online ‘so that everyone on his contact list could see it’ if she did not send her money.
READ MORE: Local sextortion scams reported to police
But the man did not send any money and instead deactivated all his social media accounts.
According to police, he was “extremely upset” following the sextortion scam.
Jeffrey Pick, from Windsor and Maidenhead’s police team, said: “Please do not write/ text/ email/ say/ or do anything online that you would not be happy for your family, relatives/ neighbours/ friends, contacts – and employers to see.
“You know it makes sense!”
What is sextortion?
According to Lancashire Police, sextortion is “a form of blackmail where, usually, victims are lured into performing sexual acts in front of their web-cam, then unbeknown to them, their acts are recorded by criminals.
“These criminals then attempt to extort the victim, usually for money by threatening to reveal the intimate images unless their demands are met.
“Victims are commonly targeted through dating apps, social media, webcams or adult pornography sites.
“While sextortion can be committed by individuals, organised crime gangs are commonly behind it.”
Is it common?
According to Lancashire Police, 16 local sextortion cases were reported to the force from January to March 2021.
In February, Ascot police officers sent out a warning after a woman was scammed into sending a fraudster money following explicit calls online.
They had met on a dating site, too.
She was left “devastated and distraught” after being coerced into paying the man.
What should I do if I am a victim of sextortion?
Lancashire Police, who have a comprehensive section on sextortion on their website, have advice for dealing with this kind of blackmail.
- You should not panic — instead, call the police on 101 and officers will deal with your case in ‘absolute confidence’
- You should not keep communicating with the scammer — instead, suspend social media accounts instead of deleting them and take screengrabs of all messages.
- You should not pay the scammer, as this may make the fraudster demand more money going forward
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