Online fraudsters who trick men into sexually explicit video-chats and then threaten to post the videos online if they don’t send money have targeted six men from Jersey.
The police say that six Islanders have reported blackmail attempts in the last two months, and it’s understood that men in Guernsey have also been targeted.
Initial approaches come from a Friend Request on Facebook, and then the men are engaged in what police described as “sexually explicit Skype chat”.
After that, a demand for money – anything from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand – is made, with the threat that the footage will be posted online.
The initial contact comes from a fake Facebook account. The names used so far include Aurelia Lambert, Samantha Smith, Leandra Williams and Kendra Williams.
Sergeant Huw Williams of the States of Jersey Police said: “We have had six cases in the last two months, all reported by men and of all different ages.
“A person adds them as a Friend on Facebook, they have a sexually explicit Skype chat and following this, the man gets a message and is told that if he does not hand over money, the video will be posted online.”
The police are investigating the attempts, and say that the blackmailer appears to be located in Africa.
The police have issued a set of advice to Islanders about how to stay safe online.
- Do not get lured into compromising situations such as removing clothes or performing intimate acts online. You do not know who may see the images.
- Always remember that what goes online may well stay online.
- Be wary about who you invite or accept invitations from on social networking sites. Do not accept friendship requests from complete strangers … you would not do this in real life.
- Update the privacy settings on your social networking accounts so only people you know can view your account.
- Do not include any sensitive, private or confidential information in profiles.
- Quickly block nuisance and fraudulent users from further contact with you and also report them for abuse.
- 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.
- If you think that you have been persuaded by anyone to part with payment details, contact your bank or card issuer immediately.
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