Police Scotland has warned that recent instances of sextortion have been reported in the North East.
Sextortion usually involves people being lured into taking off some or all of their clothes in front of their webcam, only to be told that they have been recorded and that the video will be posted online and/or shown to the victim's contacts unless a fee is paid.
It usually starts with becoming engaged in a text based conversation in a chat room with stranger. The conversation leads to flirting and sexualised comments from the perpetrator, before they ask to continue, normally via Google Hangouts. The language used may be in broken English, so the fraudster may claim they are foreign but based in the UK.
Anyone, at any age and anywhere, can become a victim.
Police Scotland have issued a reminder to be extremely cautious and alert to the dangers of webcam use. Advice also includes being wary about who you invite or accept invitations from on social networking sites.
Users are also advised not to accept friendship requests from complete strangers, irrespective of ‘mutual friend’ status. Update the privacy settings on your social networking accounts so only people you know can view them. Do not include any sensitive, private or confidential information in profiles.
If you do become a victim, Police Scotland advice that you should not pay and do not communicate further with the offenders. Report the incident to the relevant social networking site, keep all evidence of the communications you have had, taking screenshots if you can, and do not delete any correspondence. Report the incident to the police via 101.