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And then, at some point, the crook will suggest connecting on Skype or one of the other online video chat services.They disguise themselves on camera or use clever video technology to make photos appear to be live, so they can’t be identified.The way they can offer genuinely free membership is that they also have enhanced membership (which includes more powerful searches, unlimited messages, email notification of new members, etc.) for a fee.Free online community for making friends, finding romance, forming groups or just chatting to people online.As we reported a few weeks back in our annual Top 10 list, If you stopped and thought about it, you’d realize straightaway it must be some sort of scam.Why would someone you don’t know want to link up with you? They may be lonely, naive or just curious, so they agree to accept the new contact.After that, they get bombarded with spam-type messages, links to malicious websites or, increasingly, attempts to kindle an online romance.
But whatever the outcome, payment is not a realistic option because, as we explained, there’s no way of ensuring the blackmailer won’t return for more.You’re supposed to phone a number on the invoice to make a payment, but the number belongs to the crooks, and you’ll never see your money again. Free UK dating websites are great - they are free after all!They may do this several times but, at some point, they will reveal their true intent — a blackmailing demand for money, with the threat of posting the video online or mailing it to family members if the victim fails to pay.This extortion usually starts with a demand for a few hundred dollars but, like any blackmail trick, the crook retains the evidence and likely will just keep coming back for more.That’s bad enough, but there’s now a more sinister scam underway because Skype, of course, is more than a phone service.If you want, you can also use it for video chats, an aspect that the scammers have started to exploit.It’s not just online dating agencies that are being used by scammers in search of lonely-heart victims.Crooks have also started using the Skype video service to target and trap potential dupes into a potentially horrendous extortion scam.Sometimes, this scam doesn’t even originate on Skype.It may start with phony romance-talk on a dating site or a regular online chat room.