Cy­ber crime

Rise in we­b­cam ex­tor­tion in Ruther­glen

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Edel Ke­nealy

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.