ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – Asheville Police Department officials said they have seen an increase in sextortion scam victims due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Police said primarily male victims are being extorted by female suspects after visiting adult webcam sites and participate in sexual acts. Police said the suspects are referred to as “cam girl scammers.”
According to the FBI, sextortion cases are surging because of COVID-19 and the increase in the amount of time people are spending on the internet.
Victims from every background and demographic are being targeted through all internet devices, according to the FBI.
Police officials encourages individuals to be aware of common cam girl scammer techniques:
- Immediate requests to talk or chat on an email or messaging service outside of the site.
- Claims that the suspect is from the United States, but is currently living, working, or traveling abroad.
- Asks for money, goods, or any similar type of financial assistance.
- Asks for assistance with personal transactions (opening new banks accounts, depositing or transferring funds, shipping merchandise, etc.).
- Reports a sudden personal crisis and pressures you to provide financial assistance.
- Disappears suddenly from the site then reappears under a different name using the same profile information.
The FBI recommends victims take the following steps:
- Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center or your local FBI field office.
- Contact your financial institution immediately upon discovering any fraudulent or suspicious activity and direct them to stop or reverse the transactions.
- Report the activity to the website where the contact was first initiated.