Online Webcam Extortion

Webcam Extortion is a term given to demands made for monies or other favours which involve the use of a chat application, the internet and a webcam.

Webcam Extortion can happen when people establish new online relationships with people they don’t know. After a period of time victims are enticed to reveal personal information or undertake compromising activity. The victim is then threatened, being warned that images or personal information will be made public unless favours are undertaken or money is paid.

This type of criminality can affect young and old, male and female alike.

If you find yourself the victim of such a scam then the first thing to do is not to panic.

You have already taken the first big step by recognising you are the ‘victim’ in this and that you may require support to help you through this difficult time. The Police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence, and will not make judgements on your behaviour.

Do NOT pay. Some victims who have paid what the offenders have demanded hear no more about it, many others who have paid have then continued to receive further and often increasing demands. In some cases even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the videos anyway.

Do NOT communicate further with the offenders. Obtain screen shots of any communication. Deactivate your Facebook account and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, WhatsApp, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account rather than shutting it down will ensure data is preserved and will assist law enforcement in obtaining evidence. The account can also be reactivated at any time ensuring online memories are not lost forever.

In general once they’re blocked, the offenders can’t contact you. If they are unable to do so then they can’t threaten you or make demands, so they tend to move on fairly quickly. However, they may try to utilise other contact routes that they are aware of, so be mindful of all sites where communication has been made or you are linked to.

If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn’t, then you can cancel the payment – and the sooner you do that the better.