Webcam blackmail

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Webcam blackmail is a crime where an online attacker lures victims into taking off their clothes on camera and, usually secretly, allowing them to record a video. The attacker will then make a threat to make the video public unless money is paid. Sometimes threats to make false allegations of paedophilia against the victim are made as well.[1] An increase in webcam blackmails have been reported, and it affects both young and old, male and female alike.[2][3]


It is possible for an attacker to record any online interaction with the victim and use that data against them. The attacker can use pre recorded webcam footage to disguise their identity while appearing to be genuinely engaged in conversation; "to appear legitimate."[2]

Some romance scammers have been known to threaten people with the exposure of photos or videos obtained once they realize the victim is no longer cooperative. An attacker can upload a private video of the victim to video services like YouTube, then use it to extort them further by threatening to make it public or direct it to the victims family or friends.

In 2013, Daniel Perry committed suicide hours after receiving an online message saying images or video would be made public and shared with his friends and family if he didn't pay money into an account.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Blackmail fraudsters target webcam daters". BBC. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Miss Teen USA hacker pleads guilty to 'sextortion' threats". BBC News. BBC News Technology. 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Beware of Webcam Blackmail". Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Teenager's death sparks cyber-blackmailing probe

External links

  • Scam Survivors "Online blackmail"
  • "Men fall victim to online 'sextortion'" - BBC, 19 December 2014
  • Video: "Online Webcam Blackmail Scam Exposed" - Simon Tay
  • RT - "Philippines, Interpol bust huge cyber ‘sextortion’ network - 02 May 2014"

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