Some victims have been extremely distressed following this realisation, with tragic consequences.
In another type of webcam-based scam, malware installed on your computer can be used to operate your built-in webcam, recording images of you without your knowledge. Stay Smart Online offers a guide to safe social networking, as well as some useful insights into real life scams - online dating.
The scammer may pretend to be an attractive, potential partner and strike up an online relationship with you.
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When things get hot and heavy via text, suggest switching to the phone.
“If you're going to use e-mail, then take advantage of the one benefit it does have: Instead of, say, 168 characters in a text, you have as much space as you want," Savoy notes.
Users of video services, such as Skype, should be aware of a variety of scams that may use footage and images captured without your knowledge, to blackmail you.
In one version, the scam originates from a dating website or social network site like Facebook.
Scammers may use carefully prepared webcam images or footage of themselves which may initially seem flattering, but can increasingly become coercive and explicit.