Please be aware of this very clever online scam that leads to online blackmail. This scam most commonly effects teenage boys/young men.
A group of scammers will approach a young, attractive female and ask that she take between 100 and 300 pictures of herself in different clothes, with different hair styles, with different people at different locations throughout the course of one day. The girl will be paid for her original photos and will then be given the option to make even more money by also taking some nude photos. She is then sent on her way, no longer having a role in the scam.
The scammers then sit in internet cafes for hours developing legitimate looking online profiles of this girl (who we will call ‘Emily’) on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. It is important for the scammers to create a platform for ‘Emily’ on all these different websites so that it increases the look of legitimacy and the likelihood that anyone approached by an ‘Emily’ profile, will believe that they are really speaking to this young woman.
Once a potential scamming victim has been targeted, the ‘Emily’ profile will groom the male into believing that they share a lot in common, and that ‘Emily’ wants to start some sort of online romantic relationship. The male is sent inappropriate images of ‘Emily’ which he is likely to believe is proof that a) she is real and b) she really likes him.
‘Emily’ then starts asking the victim to send back inappropriate pictures and/or videos, suggesting that the boy must not really like her if he doesn’t send anything back. She continues to apply pressure to the boy until he eventually sends images/videos. At this point, the real person who has been speaking to the scamming victim reveals that the Emily profile is fake, and that if he does not send money to the scammer, his photos will be uploaded onto Facebook/ Porn Websites/ his school website.
Not everyone you speak to online is who they say they are and it is important to remember that just because someone looks very real online, it does not prove for a minute that they are real.
If you have any questions about the above information, feel free to contact us for advice and support.
For further information on any of the above, please contact us directly.