Rise in webcam extortion in Rutherglen
A teenager is one of three Rutherglen people who contacted police after online predators threatened to share naked pictures of them on social media.
The 16- year- old girl was panicked into sending a naked image of herself earlier this year, the Reformer can reveal.
A teenage girl is one of three Rutherglen people who contacted police after online predators threatened to share naked pictures of them on social media.
The 16 year old was panicked into sending a naked image of herself to a young man on January 31 of this year and is one of an increasing number of people across Lanarkshire who, Police Scotland have warned, have fallen victim to webcam extortion.
The girl sent the image via Snapchat after a 17- year- old boy threatened to share a naked image of her, taken two years earlier, on Facebook.
A second girl, aged 17, was contacted by a boy of the same age on Facebook in April who also asked her to send him a naked image of herself.
In this case, the boy said he would upload naked images of the girl’s friend on social media if she did not also send him similar pictures.
The girl did not comply and attended Rutherglen Police Office.
In the third case a 28-year-old man was on June 23 asked for £1000 from an unknown female who threatened to share a naked image of him with his friends and family if he did not hand over the cash.
The man had uploaded the image to Instagram several years earlier, which the woman had managed to obtain.
Police are currently working to find the woman via the IP address used when contacting her victim.
The Rutherglen cases have been revealed as Police Lanarkshire says its officers are receiving weekly reports of webcam extortion.
They say this type of crime can take many forms with the common element being that someone obtains explicit images of another person, and then threatens to distribute them unless the victim pays a substantial sum of money, or supplies increasingly graphic images.
Detective chief inspector Donna Duffy said it is important not to give in to these threats.
She said: “We recognise that making the decision to report such a crime to the police, or anyone else such as your friends or family is difficult but incredibly brave.
“Be assured that we will take your report seriously, in complete confidence and will never make judgements about your behaviour. You are the victim and you are our primary concern.
“Our investigation will revolve around you and your wishes. We will support you and do everything in our power to remove the content from the internet and bring those responsible to justice.”
Police say a common pattern of behaviour in such offences includes acceptance of a Facebook friend request from a stranger, followed by communication to build a relationship and obtain private information on friends, family and colleagues of the victims.
Both parties may enter into a video chat where they engage in sexual activity, shared with each other via webcam, whilst one party records the other taking part, without the victim knowing.
A demand is then made for money or more explicit images in exchange for not sending the recording to the victim’s family, friends or work colleagues.
Inspector Andy Thomson, based at Motherwell Police Office, said: “Always remember that you are in control of what you say and do online. If you do become the unwitting victim of webcam extortion – do not pay and do not communicate further. Take screen shots of the other person and any conversation and report it to the social media provider, deactivate - but don’t delete - your account. Then report it to the police. We will help you.”
For online safety advice visit http:// www. scotland. police. uk/ keep-safe/ keep-secure-online/
Predator Rutherglen teens are being targeted by webcam extortionists