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Police Report

Sextortion

The police have circulated advice in previous bulletins regarding the sharing of intimate images online which are subsequently used to extort money from victims. It appears that this is now becoming a national trend, often affecting elderly females. Victims usually report that they have had contact from someone through a social media app such as WhatsApp or Facebook who will claim to be a single male (possibly widowed), perhaps from North America. Generally, they claim to have a successful career with medical professions being particularly popular, presumably because it will make them appear trustworthy.

The conversations will start innocently enough and this stage can go on for weeks in an effort to build trust and rapport but eventually there will be a request for intimate photos. Once the offender has those they will request money. This will often be for apparently genuine financial assistance; perhaps to help pay for some medical bills. You’ll then be asked to transfer money via a wire transfer company like Western Union.

In the meantime, the fraudster will be attempting to befriend your social media contacts. If they’re successful in doing that they’ll move on to the final stage of the crime; threatening to expose the pictures to your family and friends and demanding money.

If you find yourself the victim of such a scam then the first thing to do is not to panic.

You have already taken the first step by recognising you are the ‘victim’ in this and that you may require support to help you through this difficult time. The Police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence, and will not make judgements on your behaviour.

Do NOT pay. Some victims who have paid what the offenders have demanded hear no more about it, many others who have paid have then continued to receive further and often increasing demands. In some cases, even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the videos anyway.

Do NOT communicate further with the offenders. Obtain screen shots of any communication. Deactivate your Facebook account and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, WhatsApp, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account rather than shutting it down will ensure data is preserved and will assist law enforcement in obtaining evidence. The account can also be reactivated at any time ensuring online memories are not lost forever.

In general, once they’re blocked, the offenders can’t contact you. If they are unable to do so then they can’t threaten you or make demands, so they tend to move on fairly quickly. However, they may try to utilise other contact routes that they are aware of, so be mindful of all sites where communication has been made or you are linked to.
If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn’t, then you can cancel the payment.
The major internet players have online web forms to allow victims to request that websites containing links to any sexually explicit image/video of themselves be omitted from search results.


Local Incidents
Between 5.30pm, Thursday 15 and 9am, Friday 16 August a break in occurred at Heaven Scent, South Street, Milnathort. (CR/21524/19)

Between 4pm and 5pm, Friday 16 August, a quad bike was stolen from Meikle Seggie Farm, Milnathort. (CR/21575/19)

Overnight on Wednesday 31 July, a hide was damaged at Loch Leven Nature Trail, Kinross. (CR/21605/19)

About 4pm, Friday 16 August, a green Merida Mountain Bike was stolen from Sands Road, Kinross. A male aged between 20-25 years old, stocky build, wearing a dark baseball cap, dark North Face ribbed jacket and dark jogging bottoms was seen to take the bike. (CR/21575/19)

Between 5.15pm, Monday 19 August and 8.30am, Tuesday 20 August, The Complete Look, Kinross was broken into. (CR/21903/19)

Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Tayside Division on 101 or any police officer, quoting the crime reference number listed at each incident. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Police Scotland – local community
Telephone 101 for non-emergencies

Community officers for Kinross-shire:
PC Ben Clark and PC Douglas Stapleton.
Email: taysidekinross-shireCPT@scotland.pnn.police.uk
Community Sergeant (Kinross-shire): Sgt Michelle Burns.
Community Inspector for Perth South (Strathearn, Strathallan, Almond & Earn, Kinross-shire): PI Kevin Chase

Ways of following the Police:
twitter.com/policescotland
www.facebook.com/PoliceScotland
www.scotland.police.uk


Community Watch
Receive email alerts about criminal incidents in your area, crime prevention advice, flood alerts and much more by signing up to Perth and Kinross Community Watch. The range of information received can be tailored individually; each person signing up can choose which partner agencies they would like to receive messages from. Visit this website for more details: www.pkcommunitywatch.co.uk

Crime Stoppers – Telephone 0800 555 111
This is a free phone number (unless you are using a mobile phone), which any member of the public can contact at any time if you have information relating to a criminal activity of any sort. It is, if you wish, confidential and you cannot be contacted if you choose to remain anonymous.