Police warn of internet extortionists

Police in Lerwick are warning the public about internet extortionists targeting vulnerable groups and people in the Isles.

According to the police, the scam involves befriending individuals on social media or video messaging. Victims are manipulated to send money in the belief that compromising images or feeds will be distributed widely.

Innocent images can also be edited or altered to appear sexual. On some occasions victims are being threatened to send photos or harm will come to them. Once the images are sent this leads into money requests.

According to the police, these “unscrupulous individuals” are operating from mainland Europe and Africa.

The police have issued the following advice:

• Do not accept friend requests from unknown persons (even if they seem to have mutual friends)
• Do not move to video feed if requested soon after an unsolicited request.
• Do not engage in any webcam or video conversations with people you do not know.
• Do not share any indecent images or engage in any indecent video activity with any person. You may not know who the recipient is and be committing an offence. The images can also be shared leading to the sender being unwittingly involved in unlawful activity.
• Do not send any money.

Detective sergeant Bryan Ronald said: “This is a scam. Cease communications and block the requester immediately. If the facility is available, report the individual to the social media provider”.


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