Victoria Police Warning Over Online Sextortion Scams

Dozens of women have had their social media accounts hacked and their intimate photos used against them, as part of a long-running scam that is being cracked down by the Victoria Police.

Cybercrime investigators are investigating a scam in which perpetrators use hacked social media accounts to access accounts and look for sensitive data, such as intimate photos and videos, to blackmail women.

Sent a message in the scam. Credit:Victoria Police

Police said the victims are often approached by a friend, who says they cannot access their social media account and nominated them to receive a verification code to unlock it.

However, when the victims receive the code, their account will be unlocked. Once their account is unlocked, the perpetrator looks for compromising or intimate images or other material that they can use to blackmail the victims.

Violators can then use images to blackmail victims into giving them more intimate images or to make them go to other online platforms.

Detectives have linked an alleged perpetrator of the scam to at least 34 women since mid-2019. According to the police, the victims do not appear to know the perpetrator.

In a screenshot shared by Victoria Police, a social media user confronts an alleged perpetrator saying, “I’m sure you know everyone on her friends list knows she’s been hacked”.

The alleged culprit replies, “For every 5 that know 1 doesn’t know and if you spam it, the odds are in my favor… [sic]”

In a statement, Victoria Police said social media users should never pass out authentication codes for an account. If they receive a request from a friend who asks them this much, they should call them to make sure the request is authentic.

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