People in Northamptonshire are being warned about the dangers of ‘webcam blackmail’ after a dramatic increase in reported incidents over the past few months.
Webcam blackmail typically involves a victim being lured into taking off their clothes in front of their webcam – and sometimes performing sexual acts – allowing a fraudster to record a video.
The offender will then threaten to post the video onto various social media sites unless the victim pays a fee.
Officers are advising people to take simple steps to prevent falling victim to online blackmailers including:
• Never get lured into removing your clothes or performing sexual acts in front of your webcam. Always remember that what goes online may stay online.
• Know who you are inviting or accepting invitations from on social media. Do not accept friend requests from total strangers.
• Ensure that your privacy settings on your social networking accounts are set to only allow friends to view your account.
If you do become a victim, do not pay any fees but report the crime immediately, however embarrassing it may seem.
For further details contact the Cyber Crime Unit at Northamptonshire Police on 101.
Further advice is available from the following site www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-yourself/webcam-blackmail