Lots of victims are currently coming forward being caught by the Naked Pics Scam where people are currently being targeted by a Syndicate on Social Media. Most victims are from the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal area.
How does the Scam work?
Basically, men and woman are being contacted with friend requests on Facebook by an attractive man or woman. Little do they know that these are fake profiles. The persons then chat with them on Facebook messenger and obtain their phone numbers, upon which the chat continues via Whatsapp.
Pretty soon, the person is asked for a naked picture in return for a naked picture from the new "friend". Once the person sends the naked picture, the problem starts...
In some cases, they will offer to send a naked picture of themselves first, thus building trust and later the victim sends a naked picture of themselves. In all cases, the pictures the victim are receiving have been downloaded somewhere off the internet, either from pornographic websites, or hacked profiles on websites.
Blackmail and Extortion
Once they received the naked picture, they start black mailing the person for money, threatening that they are going to distribute these pictures on social media if they are not paid, or send it to the spouse, girlfriend, fiancé etc.
They usually request for the money to be paid over via mobile phone payment utilities like iMali and Cash Send. This way there is no bank trail that can be followed and they draw the money direct from an ATM without the need for a bank account to be used.
In some cases, where the victim does not play along and send a naked picture of themselves, a picture from their Facebook profile is used and photoshopped, and they are then extorted by use of this image.
Who are targeted?
People that are targeted by this scam range across all ages, both men and women, and all professions. The youngest victim we are aware of thus far is 15 years old.
Currently we are aware of four groups/cells currently operating this scam, and they are located in KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
What to do when you are targeted or have fallen victim?
Do not pay over the money, or if you have made a payment, stop immediately. The extortion and blackmail will not stop, even if they say they will. They are praying on your embarrassment and current state of mind.
Go to your nearest police station and open a case of blackmail and extortion. Provide the SAPS with the numbers that are being used by the perpetrators, as these numbers can be tracked and traced in a lot of cases to the address from where the crime is being committed.
You can also contact your local Community Police Forum that can assist you with the correct procedure to follow and reach the correct people to deal with this problem.
Most important – HOW NOT TO BECOME A VICTIM…
If this kind of thing between you and a partner tickles your fancy, it is something between the two of you, BUT NEVER, EVER send someone an embarrassing picture if you have not met them and gotten to know them quite well at least.
The best thing is to just never ever do something like this. Remember, any electronic device and form of communication CAN be hacked, and you do not want your pictures to be intercepted and loaded without your consent to some dodgy website, or even find its way to social media like Facebook…
Rooihuiskraal / The Reeds
Wierdabridge Sector 2
Community Police Forum