The Carroll County Sheriff is reporting that the department has received three reports involving a scam that she sheriff is referring to as sextortion.
Sheriff William McCoy is reporting the scam is targeting men and women on social media such as Facebook, Youtube, and various dating sites but then progresses to the use of Skype for video chatting.
McCoy says that Sextortion is a form of blackmail where the victim is coaxed into exposing himself or herself during a Skype conversation with a newly-friended man or woman who appears to be interested in video sex. It is likely the perpetrator is an adult pretending to be a teenager, and individuals are just one of the many victims being targeted by the same person.
That individual will then manipulates the victim to include video of his or her face during their video exchange. The victim is later advised that the event was recorded and asked to pay up to $5000 or more or the video will be released publicly or sent to a list of friends. To those targeted, it can seem as if there is no way out. McCoy says that many victims who have paid have continued to get more demands for higher amounts of money. In some cases, after the demands have been met, the offenders will still go on to post the explicit videos.
To avoid falling prey to a sextortionist never send compromising photos or videos of yourself to anyone, whether you know them or think you know them. McCoy advises that you should remember the first rule about scammers, they are all liars, and they say anything for money. Scammers are relying on your fear to get you to send them money.
If you are a victim of this scam and or you know someone that has been involved, contact the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office 660-542-2200 or your local Police department.