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Police Warning: Online Safety

 

Police Scotland is warning people not to become a victim of online blackmail and extortion after an increase in the number of incidents reported in Tayside recently.

Blackmailers have lured victims into online video sex chats which have been recorded and money is then demanded accompanied by threats to publish images or video if payment is not made.

Detective Chief Inspector Bobby Dow said :

'Blackmail and extortion are common ways for hackers to make money out of their victims and anyone threatened with online blackmail should never comply with it.

'The offenders are in most cases in a different country but target victims by adding them as a friend on social media sites.  These are people who want to exploit others and intimidate them into parting with their money. If you pay you still have no guarantee that the footage will be destroyed. Once you have put images of yourself out there online, you can never get them back. ‘

'Anyone who feels at risk or worried should contact Police Scotland on 101'.


 Online safety advice:

  • Keep your phone, laptops or tablet secure - use a password or PIN.
  • Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do face to face
  • Think about what you post – would you be happy for your family to see it or for other people to still see it in 10 or 20 years.
  • Comments, photos and videos you post or share, make up your digital footprint, even if you delete it so there is still a record of it.
  • Do you really know your online friends or who you befriend online? Think about why and how you know people and if you are not friends in real life you shouldn’t be online
  • Never feel forced into doing anything you don’t want to do
  • Block people who send cruel or offensive messages and tell someone about it
  • Don’t open links and attachments from people you don’t know
  • Never arrange to meet someone you have only met on the internet
  • Sexting is never a good idea. Once images have been taken and sent to others, control is lost of them and they can end up anywhere. Just think – if you wouldn’t print and pass these images around your school, work, family members, then don’t share by phone or other technologies.
  • If you receive an indecent image or naked selfie from someone, do not send this image onto others or respond with one of you – report it.