Warning as men hit by cyber scam
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.
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