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Lanarkshire Men Snared In Blackmail Plot
Several men in the last three months have become victims of cyber-sex sessions which have ended in an online blackmailing plot.
Two males in Hamilton and one in Larkhall, along with others across South Lanarkshire, have been extorted out of hundreds of pounds.
They have been taking part in an online video call with an unknown woman.
The men have then performed a sexual act on themselves during the video chat. However, unknown to them, they have been recorded.
Then the embarrassing video is used as blackmail by the woman, who threatens to post it online to family and friends if they don’t pay money into a specified bank account.
Some of the men involved, who have not paid up, have discovered that the videos have since been shared online. Others have been conned into transferring the cash, but only to find the woman asking for more money.
Police say the cash has ranged up to a four-figure sum.
Officers investigating the incidents say the scheme is “very concerning” and were keen to highlight the dangers involved.
Chief Inspector Sandy Blair said: “We have received a number of reports of this nature and I cannot stress enough how important it is to be aware of these types of dangers online.
“Once you send an image or a video over the internet, you can’t take it back and are potentially putting yourself in a situation where someone is blackmailing you and threatening to post it publicly.
“I would urge anyone who has concerns of this nature to contact Police Scotland on 101 as we take all complaints extremely seriously and will ensure the circumstances are fully investigated.”
Social media extortion cases have been cropping up all over the world in recent years as more and more people continue to use video messaging.