Men are often affected: LKA warns of nasty online blackmail that exploits your sense of shame
Grandchild trick, blackmail, phishing. Some online scams are particularly mean. The LKA warns of a scam that is particularly mean and often aimed at men. You should beware of that.
Anonymity on the Internet is both a curse and a blessing. Although this allows freedom of expression without fear of reprisals, scammers can also hide behind fake profiles.
This is exactly what cybercriminals exploit to lure and blackmail their victims. That is why the State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia is currently warning of a particularly perfidious method that you can come across when looking for a partner on the Internet, among other things.
Blackmail with alleged photos
The term “sextortion” is derived from the English “extortion”, i.e. blackmail. There are usually a means to an end
alleged or real recordings
which is intended to show the victim during sexual acts.
The starting point for the scam is often a chat with people on dating apps like Tinder – which is why men looking for a partner are particularly affected. But large data leaks are also exploited.
Offenders then ship
Emails to Victims
, often with attribution. They pretend to have hacked the laptop or smartphone and to be in possession of compromising footage. The perpetrators give parts of the telephone number or the password as proof.
The victims are then threatened that the video material
to friends, family and colleagues
sent – unless you pay a sum of money via cryptocurrency.
Here’s what you can do about it
Always be careful when chatting on dating platforms and send
no underwear or nude photos
or explicit video recordings. You could also be filmed by your counterpart during a video chat – whether male or female.
In most cases, however, the perpetrators have no compromising image or video material from the victims at all. Instead, personal data was simply bought from large leaks on the dark web. It is best to check your email addresses with HaveIBeenPwned (more information at CHIP).
If there are video links in the email, you should
do not click
– either, these come to nothing or lead to malware.
The State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia therefore recommends reporting such messages with a criminal complaint. If you don’t want to do this, keep calm and ignore the e-mail for the time being. they should
never pay money to the perpetrators
because otherwise they can blackmail you again at any time.
More police tips:
- When searching for images on the Internet, search for your name to see whether third parties have uploaded new photos of you
- Change the passwords on the important or affected platforms
- If you have a concrete suspicion, check the money movements in your account closely so that you can react quickly
Disable or cover your webcam whenever you are not using it
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