Facebook. It’s something most of us are addicted to. Aside from addiction, it can also make us vulnerable to scammers.
“Cause they’re in the comfort of their own home, they’re on their phone, there are no scary people around,” says Detective Laura Soulier with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
A new scam is surfacing where someone will contact you out of blue. They make it look like you know a lot of the same people, so you begin to trust them.
“And they just start getting them to talk, just as if you’re meeting a new person. You get into a romantic conversation. Online, things happen really quickly”
They ask to take a step farther and video chat. When you pull up your webcam, theirs will be dark, and they’ll give you plenty of excuses as to why.
“They’ll say oh, I’ve been fighting with this, or the camera’s broke, but I can see you perfectly and you’re beautiful! Then they’ll start asking you to show them things, they’ll say things like, you have a beautiful body, I’d like to see more.”
Unbeknownst to you, it’s a scammer on the other end, taking pictures of everything, and planning to blackmail you for money. No one has been a victim locally that we know of, but these scammers target business professionals like attorneys, teachers, even CEO’s. It’s their job or their family on the line, so naturally, they pay.
“The minute that you let anyone take a picture of you or a video of you, you have no control over it all. It’s a lesson in don’t be so trusting, it’s a lesson in thinking before you do something like show your naughty bits on camera.”
If you have been a victim, call the sheriff’s office, although it’s difficult to prosecute these people because you really don’t know who they are.