A new technique has been invented by scammers lately (or rather not invented but borrowed from the Internet users who post porn on websites in revenge for something).
The point is that they obtain personal details from a person, naturally something that could embarrass or sully one’s reputation and pictures of you of a certain character. The girl may ask you to send her a photo of you naked, for example. Would you fulfill her request? You will say “no”. But imagine the following situation: you are talking to a sexy girl via Skype and the talk is about sex. As you have talked to her lots of times and have seen this beauty on the cam not once, you feel that it will not be blamable if you say that you want her. She wants you too. So you start doing different virtual sex things posing before the camera.
Don’t be surprised if the next day morning you find an email with screenshots of that scene and a message saying that the girl wants a certain amount of money from you, otherwise the photos and personal messages will be posted online. Sometimes they prepare the webpage beforehand and give you a link.
You panic. There is a lot to fear with this situation ‒ she knows your real name and where you live, she is among your Facebook friends, which means that she will provide all your Facebook contacts with this link. What a blow to your reputation! Yet, don’t be in a hurry to pay. If you do it, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will fulfill their promise to remove the link. It is more likely that they will go on blackmailing you.
What should you do?
Take the risk of telling them to go to hell. Say that you don’t care. This is their business and they wouldn’t lose much time if it is not going to bring money. You will need strength, but be persistent and never send money.
An American citizen can address the Internet Crime Complaint Center. At all events, it won’t restore your reputation.
So, to prevent all these hardships it’s better not to send personal information, especially anything that can make you feel embarrassed. To be more exact, never:
- mention your real name when creating your profile;
- employ your email address that is already in use. Create a special one;
- use any pictures that are already on the internet. Scammers can easily find out who you are;
- add any girls to Facebook. Avoid it under any pretence;
- say where you work, etc.;
- do anything embarrassing in front of the camera. Don’t forget that you are dealing with a stranger. You can never be sure of any information an online correspondent gives you, including his or her real gender.
There is one more good way to avoid scammers ‒ use Uadreams.com website. Scammers are sorted out from real girls perfectly well on this site. It will not secure you against that sort of girls who are called “gold diggers”, but you may feel calm as far as scam is concerned.
You can find useful information on the page concerning romance scam.
Reports of swindle committed against citizens of the USA through romantic Internet correspondence come to the US Embassy almost every day. Russian correspondents usually ask US citizens to send cash for travel expenses, “visa costs” or living expenses. Cases when people lose thousands of dollars because of such scams are numerous. The Embassy officials’ customary advice is that American citizens shouldn’t send money to people whom they don’t know in person. The Embassy brings to notice that dating scammers commonly:
- use professional models’ photos from different websites;
- give misrepresented information about the requirements and cost of a US visa;
- claim that airline tickets can be bought only in Russia;
- mention various financial hurdles preventing them from leaving Russia;
- ask to send money through a specific company;
- provide a scan of a visa that is usually fraudulent as a proof of their intention to travel. You can check its authenticity at the Fraud Prevention Unit (FPMM@state.gov).