Scammers want to see what they can see as far as your house goes. We understand they sometimes have their victims scan around their house on the web cam in a ruse of saying they want to get to know you better.
Web cams are a psychological tool. By turning on your web cam to the scammer, you have become more vulnerable. They will use it to strengthen the relationship, telling the victim how beautiful or handsome she/he is. This creates more of a bond.
Scammers often convince the victim to perform sexually on web cam. This again strengthens the relationship with the victim. The victim believes he/she is sharing an intimate moment with the love of their life. Sadly, in this case it is one-sided. When the victim discovers they have been scammed and that most likely they had a room full of strangers watching them in their most private moments, they go through the same feelings of violation as a rape victim.
Many scammers are set up to capture the web cam on video. When the scam reaches the point where the victim is not giving up any more money, the scammer then turns to blackmail. They have the video. The scammer can create pictures from the video. By this time, they know where the victim works and information about the family. They threaten to send all of the pictures to one of these people unless they are paid off. It is not a good idea, because once you start paying, the demands continue. If all else fails, they threaten to sell the video or photos to a porn site for others to watch.
When the scammer realizes that you are not afraid of what he is threatening and he is not going to get anything out of it, he will go away. Thus far, we are not aware of any victim whose video/photos were sent to family or business associates or placed on a porn site. This threat is another way to manipulate you into sending more money.
The best rule of thumb you can have is DO NOT TURN on your web cam for someone you do not know. NEVER turn it on unless they have theirs on at the same time and you can see what they are doing. Even then, be very careful that the cam shot of them is NOT a pre-recorded video that is playing over and over. In recent years, the software to create phony web cam video has become very sophisticated.
Steps to Take:
1. Block and delete scammer from all your programs at work and home.
2. Avoid answering your phones, unplug them at night. If the scammer is unusually persistent, you may want to change your phone number.
3. Inform your supervisors at work about what is happening so they can help you handle the situation.
4. Set up the your computers to block any emails coming from a scammer address.
5. Contact a Romance Scams Peer Counselor for one-on-one assistance and guidance.
6. Do not respond to the scammer. Ignore him. Responding puts you at risk of being sucked back into the scam and giving into their demands.
7. Make copies of emails and instant messages of these threats. Document what is happening as it is happening.
8. Remember these are only threats. They use these tactics to continue to manipulate you into sending them money. If you refuse to give them what they want, they will eventually move on but only if you cease all contact.
Quotes by Victims:
“Well, during the last month he (the scammer) had threatened to publish my nude photos in a magazine and send them to my place of employment, as well as every store in the U.S. and all over the Internet unless I sent him money. I panicked and sent him money. But, of course, that was not the end of it. He still wanted more money.“
“He keeps sending me emails threatening to send those nude photos of me to my work. I’ve been assured here at work that they will not allow them to pass thru. In his email today he said he will open up new accounts if he has to. He’s threatening me so much. This is pure blackmail!! I’m so pissed and I’m so mad at myself for letting it get this far. You just can’t trust anyone these days, can you?”