Skype scam have been around for ages. With technology constantly evolving, one would think that chat bots get a little more convincing too. Users of video services, such as Skype, should be aware of a variety of scams that may use footage and images captured without your knowledge, to blackmail you.
Type A: Blackmail Skype Scam:
Skype scam originates from a dating website or social network site like Facebook. The scammer may pretend to be an attractive, potential partner and strike up an online relationship with you. It may take some time and seem extremely believable. Eventually, they may ask you to join a Skype (video) call with them.
How it works?
1: During the video call the scammer may attempt to lead you into participating in intimate, sexual activity or nudity, which can later be used to blackmail you.
2: Scammers may use carefully prepared webcam images or footage of themselves which may initially seem flattering, but can increasingly become coercive and explicit. They steadily increase pressure on you to participate, which they record and later threaten to distribute online.
3: Other reports include the scammer manipulating the images taken, to make them seem worse.
4: The scammers may threaten to send compromising pictures or video footage of you to your friends, colleagues or family, or post it to your networks such as Skype contacts or Facebook friends. Others have threatened to post the footage to porn sites or YouTube.
What you may believe to be a highly intimate and private moment may in fact be watched by a room full of strangers. Some victims have been extremely distressed following this realisation, with tragic consequences.
In another type of webcam-based scam, malware installed on your computer can be used to operate your built-in webcam, recording images of you without your knowledge. This malware is known as a Remote Access Trojan or RAT and can remotely activate your webcam, at the same time, disabling your camera indicator light. These images can also be used to blackmail you.
What should i do?
1. Be aware that anything you do on the internet, including video and voice calls, can be recorded.
2. Never use your webcam to video call someone you do not know.
3. Be cautious about people you meet online. People you meet online may not be who they seem to be.
4. Revealing personal details online is extremely risky.
5. Why connect with some one, you do not know?
If you have been threatened, you should:
1. Block their emails and their accounts from all networks. Cease all contact with the scammer. Scammers often seek soft targets, so they may move on if you do not respond. Some victims have reported no further consequences once they blocked the scammer and ignored their demands.
2. Be suspicious of any new or unusual friend requests, for example, someone you thought you were already friends with on Facebook.
3. Save the scammer’s details, emails, comment threads or any other evidence you have of them and the extortion attempt. This can be done with screenshots or taking a photo with your phone.
4. If you think images or footage may be posted online (you can set up a Google email alert to look for this content every day), you can contact the host site to ask them to remove the files.
5. Contact your local police and notify them of the activity.
6. The only leverage the scammers have is your embarrassment. You may consider accepting the disclosure.
7. Paying scammers and extortionists is never encouraged. Once you have paid, there is nothing preventing them from targeting you or your compromised computer again.
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Type B:Skype Bot Credit Card Skype Scam:
Obviously, Katrina Kauffman is not a real woman (or even a man), but an automated program. The only purpose of the bot is to convince people to provide their credit card information on a fraudulent website. The shorturl leads to a fake adult entertainment website where you are supposed to sign up to see more.
(Scammer website that tries to steal your credit card information)
How to Recognize a Skype Scam Bot?
1. Ask questions. If it is a bot, it will ignore your questions and will keep on try to convience you to signup and pay.
2. Watch for behavior pattern in above conversation(pic). This bot didn’t just run a series of plain messages. It always waited for the skype user to say something first, then posted a message back after exactly 30 seconds. When he paused, the bot paused too. When he typed more, the bot replied more.
What to do now?
If you think you have already fallen for a (suspected) Skype or credit card scam, contact your bank or credit card provider as soon as possible and ask them to cancel your card immediately. Otherwise scammers could use your credit card for purchasing goods on the Internet (or worse) and you’ll end up with a pile of debt – or even be at risk of criminal conviction.
Note: You can report fraud and scams to Skype at [email protected].
The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact our local technical support provider.