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The dangers of ‘cyber flirts’

We are alerting you to the dangers of ‘cyber flirts’ following recent incidents where two victims were pulled into a cyber blackmail scam.

Victims are targeted via social networking sites such as Facebook and online video chat services such as Skype. The victims are mainly teenage boys and middle aged men.

The cyber blackmail scam works by the perpetrator creating a female profile on a social networking and then befriending and flirting with potential victims, and subsequently inviting them to intimate video chats with them using Skype.

Unbeknown to the victims however they are then secretly recorded during the video chats and subsequently blackmailed into giving out sums of money. Failure to pay the money will result in the video footage being circulated on the Internet.

Detective Sergeant Craig Thomas said: “ We are advising teenage boys and middle aged men in particular to be extra careful and not to entertain online seductions from women whom they get to know only in social media, and have never known in person”.

DS Thomas stressed: “The public need to be aware that anything they do on the Internet, including video and voice calls, can be recorded and manipulated for malicious purposes. People need to be very cautious who they befriend and not feel that they have to fulfill all requests that others may pose to them whilst online”.

“If you are a victim of such a scam stop communicating with the perpetrator and ignore all calls, SMS or messages from them. Remove the perpetrator from all your social media friends or contact lists, or add them to your list of ‘blocked’ contacts. Also makes sure all your social networking accounts are private so the perpetrator will not be able to reach you or your friends”.

If you have any information in relation to this scam, or have been a victim of it, please contact us on 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email them at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.give-information.