back to article DANGER: Is that 'hot babe' on Skype a sextortionist?

North Yorkshire police have issued a general warning after three men in the York area fell victim to sextortionists. Someone posing as a woman called Cathy Wong befriended each of the victims on Facebook before asking them to Skype her. During the online chat session, she enticed each of them into performing an indecent act, …

  1. Richy Freeway
    1. TRT Silver badge

      Idiots, perhaps...

      but no twats were involved, if I read it correctly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Know your target

      Students.... seriously??? Yeh 'cause they always have a handy stash of £3k under the sofa to pay off dodgy blackmail fees...

      Some of them put a good amount of effort in on dating sites to come across as a good UK citizen only to have their skype location as Lagos when they want to chat... Come on - it's the detail that counts in this small and mostly pointless exercise of trying to catch out desperate westerners...

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Know your target

        Students == Less time spent in the school of life + more time spent surfing the internet drunk stoned or bored.

        1. 100113.1537

          Re: Know your target

          These are probably overseas students who have been scoped out in advance as being from richer parents and who are much more likely to be punished by parents rather than just simply embarrassed if their videos are distributed on-line.

          As noted below, the initial approach is via Facebook to get to know the mark - and the women is referred to with an asian name. I think this is quite a sophisticated scam and has probably netted them quite a few people ready to pay up - as opposed to the three listed here who refused.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Know your target

        >Know your target

        I'm an international diamond dealer.

        No wait. it's Wednesday, on Wednesdays I'm an oil tycoon.

        Seriously, do you think people tell the truth online?

  2. TRT Silver badge

    Did they...

    Wing a Wong number?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Did they...

      Me wuv you wong time

  3. Frank Fisher

    This is obviously not funny.

    However, it *is* pretty funny...

    1. Crisp
      Paris Hilton

      It's funny because it's not happening to you!

      Paris, because sex tape or something.

  4. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    For the love of all that's precious!

    How fecking stupid do you have to be to do something rude in front of someone else you've never met AND ON FECKING VIDEO CAMERA to boot?!?! Jesus wept....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For the love of all that's precious!

      About as stupid as Leslie Grantham.

    2. FlatSpot

      Re: For the love of all that's precious!

      I'm guessing lonely people, or people that experiment... there are a lot of people that suffer from depression, so it's the classic befriending sting.

      Sextortion only works if you give a shit, the victims should just tell them to go for it and put it on youtube. Is there a sextortion category on youtube? No probably not, as I expect they would just take it down anyway.

      1. Brangdon

        Re: For the love of all that's precious!

        Sometimes she gets naked first. Sometimes they record one half of the session and leave her bit out.

        Sometimes they leave her out and then claim your partner was 13 years old. It doesn't matter that it wasn't true; a video of you wanking in front of a child will get you judged in the court of opinion and potentially ruin your life. It's easier and safer to pay, if it's not too much.

        I hate all the victim-blaming that goes on here. This is a confidence trick. It relies on taking the time to build up trust.

    3. Old Handle
      Facepalm

      Re: For the love of all that's precious!

      Their real downfall was missing the fact that meeting through Facebook meant the "hot babe" already knew their real name and exactly who to send embarrassing video to. If they'd just been showing their junk to people on Omegle or similar they'd have been fairly safe.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: For the love of all that's precious!

        I thought this was about Skype not Farcebook. Do you use Skype? Ever since M$ took over (and this is almost certainly just a coincidence) I've had 2 or 3 of these per week, always women, usually accompanied by a photo of a model, usually in a bikini and frequently not reflecting the indigenous population of the location that Skype gives for them. Mostly the contact request just say "please add me as a contact" occasionally they've done a little more work.

        Now I'm probably what would be considered as a prime candidate for falling a for "a pretty girl routine", ie 50s bloke. But I'm not stupid enough to believe that some random "babe" from the other side of the planet is about to fall head over heals in lust with (I've a wife who loves me, lets face it here the goal is lust). Besides there are channels where its easy to meet people to play lust games in rather more anonymous ways.

        1. Nate Amsden

          Re: For the love of all that's precious!

          I'm on skype 24/7 ita what my work uses for communication

          My profile must be set to private or

          something as I almost NEVER get requests to connect from strangers.

          My experience goes back 4 years. 99.99% of my skype usage is work related or with people I used to work with.

        2. Old Handle

          Re: For the love of all that's precious!

          I have enough familiarity with Skype to know about the random contacts from "women", although I'm not a regular user. But this article says "Someone posing as a woman called Cathy Wong befriended each of the victims on Facebook before asking them to Skype her."

        3. veti Silver badge

          Re: For the love of all that's precious!

          I don't know what you do with your Skype profile, but mine's publicly available, and I get essentially zero spam to it. Can't remember the last time I had a contact request from someone I didn't know. I think it happens a few times a year, and the frequency certainly hasn't gone up significantly since Microsoft bought it - probably the reverse if anything.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. gymychoo

    You tube? Really?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no need to post winky pics

    Presumably there is no need to actually post the offendings pics, on the first ask some gullible people will send the money. (these people are most valuable and can be sold to other scammers)

    Those that don't pay are then threatened and some of those will pay. (these can also be sold but not for as much)

    The rest you can forget about, they are not bothered or there are probably pictures of their winkies adorning the internet already and they probably like the idea of more.

    It makes more sense not to publish the non-payers because they may be more receptive to blackmail attempts in the future as their circumstances have changed (ie they have more to lose)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no need to post winky pics

      They aren't interested in posting anything. They are fishing, if you bite and send money they'll ask for more until you wake up and tell them to sod off, if you don't bite they'll just drop it. They are working percentages and don't have time to chase refusers. Have you ever heard of anyone's todger actually being posted online from one of these scams?

  7. Tim Jenkins

    "...police, who are working a theory that a gang might be involved..."

    Just not the kind of "gang" the 'victims' were hoping for, presumably...

    1. Patrick R
      Facepalm

      Re: "...police, who are working a theory that a gang might be involved..."

      Even the Register still think he was a she.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: "...police, who are working a theory that a gang might be involved..."

        @Patrick R

        Que Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed/Velvet Underground while busting a nut for the cam.

      2. Dazed and Confused

        Re: "...police, who are working a theory that a gang might be involved..."

        > Even the Register still think he was a she.

        Women have been playing these style games for aeons too, don't make the mistake of thinking all criminals are men.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Why are they surprised

    Some stranger contacts you and asks you to have a wank in front of your wephone, webcam to which you agree, and then you are surprised to find out that you've just been stung...

    I can understand that old people, unaware people are getting stung by the fake Microsoft Call Center scams but this is on a whole other level.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Why are they surprised

      Hmmm. You've just given me an idea for how to respond next time the "Microsoft" people phone.

      Not had one this year, was getting 2 a week at one point last year. Now they often claim to be from "Your internet service provider, and we've noticed a virus on your connection". The last one put the phone down on me before I could tell him to sod off, just from the weary and cynical way I said, "are you?" when he claimed to be from Microsoft.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

    upstairs or downstairs, but never both

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

      >upstairs or downstairs, but never both

      So that rules out performing my rather natty trick...

      Hint, dogs can do it too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

        What? P**s against a wall while cocking a leg?

      2. 's water music

        Re: They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

        ...my rather natty trick...

        Hint, dogs can do it too.

        Bum sniffing? Coprophagia? Jealous Enquiring minds...

    2. ravenviz
      Gimp

      Re: They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

      I have an outside toilet as well, does that count as downstairs, or something different?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, "Toilet Areas" are definitely "Downstairs"

        inspection by request

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

      > They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

      > upstairs or downstairs, but never both

      Where is the romance in knocking one out without any eye contact?

      Next you'll say it's a bad idea to disclose personal details as you chat to get to know one another.

      If this continues, the Internet web chat will just end up with meaningless, anonymous sex acts....

      1. Jes.e

        Re: They failed to obey the first rule of digital imagery

        "If this continues, the Internet web chat will just end up with meaningless, anonymous sex acts...."

        Nice!!

        Nearly inhaled my tea there..

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Some scams are deliberately stupid

    I suspect that Nigerian scams and these sorts are obvious on purpose. As a scammer you don't people who have the sense to see the con coming, or calling the police so you make it as dumb and obvious as possible - it gets rid of all the timewasters. So make the con big, stupid and obvious and when you get a bite you know you've caught a very gullible person.

    1. veti Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Some scams are deliberately stupid

      I think scamming is a whole ecosystem, with entries at all levels of gullibility.

      At the shallowest end of the clue pool, you get classic 419ers (yes, they're still in business - after all, a significant number of people received their very first email yesterday). This Facebook/Skype combo is a step up from that. At the deep end, you get what happened to Sony.

      And in between, there's room for thousands of parasitic scum feeding on people of virtually all levels of intelligence, including a great many who delude themselves that they're too smart to fall for anything...

      Think of it like - spiders, cats, badgers and people are all predators, but they prey on entirely different things. So the ecosystem has room for all of them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm.... Now wondering if I should accept that contact request

    From a certain Daisy Leathers.

  12. 's water music

    professional standards

    North Yorkshire police have issued a general warning after three men in the York area fell victim to sextortionists.

    We all know what it means when you post that a 'mate of mine' has an embarrassing problem...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: professional standards

      North Yorkshire police are safe - sheep can't type

  13. Cliff

    Online clip joint

    basically

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The curse of t'interwebs

    The larger issue for me is that we seem to have bred a generation that are almost incapable of "pulling" unless it is online, I know several families where the teenage boys only seem to be able to meet girls via Arsefaceplace and other antisocial media, it may be the same for girls but I have no real knowledge as its the boys that seem to talk to me about it - guess its a bonded male thing - I have been around them a long time and seem to be someone they look to for calm rationality (ha! they dont know me lol)

    They don't seem able to develop the skills to front up to someone in a public place and see where it leads. Someone once told me it was my personality not my looks that attracted them, based on observing me in various "social venues" around. How many of todays generation will that happen to?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The curse of t'interwebs

      "Someone once told me it was my personality not my looks that attracted them, based on observing me in various "social venues" around."

      Congrats for finally being pulled even though you are ugly. You are confusing teenagers with people in their 20/30s, who would typically form relationships with people at work, or front up as you so nicely put it.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: The curse of t'interwebs

      "Someone once told me it was my personality not my looks that attracted them, based on observing me in various "social venues" around. How many of todays generation will that happen to?"

      Probably quite a lot - I know a good few people who have paired up from chatting on forums and in IRC, etc. Hell, I've done it. I have a physique like a corpse that's been left in a river for a week, too!

      Steven R

  15. ukgnome

    Playmobil reconstruction please

  16. Archaon

    Posting indecent acts on YouTube?

    Report it...have it taken down...job done. Don't even need to claim copyright, just that it's offensive content.

    1. lurker

      Re: Posting indecent acts on YouTube?

      As posted by others, the threats are not hugely credible, but they don't need to be. There was a BBC news article last month mentioning a socially awkward 14 year old boy who killed himself due to falling foul of one of these rackets and believing their threats that they would 'ruin his life', very sad.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Some things on the internet are not as they seem" shock.

    The perps shouldn't be doing it, but the victims have at least learned a lesson (hopefully) to not be so utterly credulous in future.

  18. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    First step

    Delete Facebook account.

    Step two snap out of it. No babe from the interwibbles is looking for sex with you. If you're good looking enough, you don't need the net for women.

    Step three never, never accept invites from babes you may not know on Skype, Yahoo etc. They may be looking for something in your trousers, but not your johnson...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First step

      Rule number one: No woman is interested in seeing your todger. Not a one. This has been verified multiple times with multiple women. They all agree, dick pics are not of interest, nor a source of arousal to them. The only people who think they are...are the owners of said dicks.

      In case of confusion, refer to rule one, above.

      Ignorance of rule number one will lead to tears...or worse.

      That is all.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: First step

        "Rule number one: No woman is interested in seeing your todger. "

        Unless it's up close and personal.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: First step

          No ones ever been interested in seeing my todger :(

  19. David Roberts
    Coat

    Picture or it didn't happen?

    Mine's the one with the smutty postcards ---->

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh to scam the scammers

    and send back a "live" feed taken from XHamster (cough, so I'm told), and then tell them to do one when they ask for money ...

  21. Chika
    Paris Hilton

    Open mouth, insert plod

    Despite a number of international police busts...

    Does Ms. Wong work for the fuzz then? Or maybe the lovely Ms. Hilton now works for the filth?

    1. frymaster

      Re: Open mouth, insert plod

      I was thinking it was an innovative scheme to thwart sextortion by providing a free and safe alternative

  22. Rick Brasche

    Also in other New News...

    don't give your bank account information to Nigerian Princes, they won't give you gold or money but actually steal it!

    -news from the early 90's. Anyone still clueless, deserves it.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Also in other New News...

      Ah.. but there's the rub (so to speak). Those who don't learn the past are doomed to repeat it. Those who are gullible to these things have probably never heard of a 419 scam.

    2. Michael Thibault
      Facepalm

      Re: Also in other New News...

      >don't give your bank account information to Nigerian Princes

      Russian princesses are OK, though, right?

  23. TitterYeNot

    Entrapment

    Q) What's worse than getting your tackle out on social media for a saucy oriental sex kitten, only to find out she is actually a fat, middle aged Filipino housewife who is now going to take you to the cleaners.

    A) Finding out she is actually a male Sunday Mirror reporter...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Entrapment

      What if you are actually into News of the World reporters - what do you do now ?

      A friend of mine has a thing for 40 year old FBI agents - but everyone she meets online turns out to secretly be an underage girl.

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    How is this a threat, seeing as there cannot be anyone under the age of 30 who hasn't already posted photos of their not-so-privates on the web *somewhere*?

  25. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Coat

    North Yorkshire has a lot of catching up to do...

    Hong Kong's crime report for 2013 revealed "Sextortion" cases rose sevenfold from 60 to 477 cases. 2014 report out later this month.

  26. YouStupidBoy
    Joke

    Misleading name

    Sophos' "Naked Security" blog is nothing of the sort.

  27. macjules Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Now that's cleared up ...

    I thought 'sextortionist' might have been something interesting. Shame its only about trying to get Yorkshiremen to part with their money - she should have known that's about as feasible as getting a Brummie Jihadi to read The Jerusalem Times.

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