Warn­ing as men hit by cy­ber scam

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF - STU­ART GREER

PO­LICE are warn­ing in­ter­net users to be on their guard over a we­b­cam sex scam which tar­gets men.

Black­mail­ers pos­ing as women are lur­ing men into per­form­ing sex­ual acts on­line via we­b­cam.

They then threaten to post the video of them on­line to fam­ily and friends un­less they make a large cash pay­ment.

There have been two in­ci­dents in the county. The most re­cent in­ci­dent in Cheshire was re­ported to po­lice on Fri­day, Au­gust 8.

Cheshire Po­lice said in this in­ci­dent the vic­tim was con­tacted by an un­known fe­male on Face­book. He ac­cepted the ‘friend re­quest’ and was en­cour­aged to con­tinue the con­tact over Skype.

While on there, he ex­posed him­self at the fe­male’s re­quest.

The screen then went blank and a mes­sage ap­peared show­ing all his con­tacts and fam­ily con­tacts on Face­book, and a warn­ing that the video would be sent to all of them if he did not pay £500.

Det Chief Insp Nigel Wen­ham, of Cheshire Po­lice’s strate­gic public pro­tec­tion unit, said: “In the last two weeks we have had two of­fences of this na­ture brought to our at­ten­tion.

“We would always dis­cour­age any­one from en­gag­ing in any on­line sex­ual ac­tiv­ity.

“If you do, you risk the images be­ing cap­tured and the threat of th­ese be­ing seen by your friends and fam­ily.

“Once th­ese images are in the public do­main on the in­ter­net they will re­main there for any­one to see.

“If you do find your­self in this po­si­tion do not hand over any money – con­tact the po­lice.”

The trend in Cheshire mir­rors an in­crease in re­ported cases world­wide where men are black­mailed over cy­ber­sex ses­sions.

In May West Mid­lands po­lice is­sued a sim­i­lar warn­ing af­ter boys and men were tar­geted by so­called ‘sex­tor­tion­ists’.

In that scam vic­tims were con­tacted via so­cial me­dia or on in­ter­net cha­t­rooms.

Black­mail­ers de­manded the cash is paid into an off­shore bank ac­count. One vic­tim in the West Mid­lands re­fused and had the footage sent to his girl­friend.

Scams like this are com­plex be­cause IP ad­dresses can of­ten be traced back to for­eign coun­tries.

Any­one who finds them­selves a vic­tim of this scam should con­tact Cheshire Po­lice on the non-emer­gency 101 num­ber.

You can also re­port fraud or in­ter­net crime to Ac­tion Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via ac­tion­fraud.po­lice.uk.

●» Po­lice have warned in­ter­net users about a we­b­cam scam

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