Skype is a great way to connect with your boyfriend or girlfriend so you can keep in contact and see each other when you are physically apart, but sometimes convincing your other h… Read More
As successful communication spreads, so does the rise of scammers and Skype has not been spared. Worse, some Skype scams are particularly cruel and disturbing involving everything from blackmail to broken hearts. Discover the different types of Skype scams and how to avoid them.
As the people of the world connect through the Internet, text messaging, and social media, Skype (or Skype Technologies) is yet another method of interacting. A telecommunications software, Skype connects users through voice calls, video chat, and instant messaging (IM).
The company’s processes have expanded to include connections between more than computers alone – users can use Skype over a desktop computer or laptop, mobile smartphones, tablet, Xbox One console, smartwatch, or even utilize a feature where Internet-based calls can transmit to landline telephone services for a small fee. While Skype’s instant messaging features focus on video or text messages (in the form of photos, images, graphics, or texts), even businesses can get in on the action with Skype’s video conference calls.
Scam #1: Your Worst Nightmare
Imagine a video of you in a compromising or intimate situation being shared with the world. Worse, what if the same video was directly sent to each of your relatives – your mother or father, adult children, cousins or aunts, and uncles? Or, what if the video showed you being unfaithful online, and was sent your spouse or significant other?
One example of this was covered by BBC news. A young man from Palestine (we will call him “Abed”), living abroad added a stranger on Facebook, per her friend request. Not only was his new add incredibly beautiful, but he soon found out she was very passionate and claimed to love sex.
With his girlfriend out of town, he agrees to communicate with her over Skype’s video chat, assuming it was an exciting NSA moment of fun. Via video, she was as beautiful and sexy and commented finding him attractive. With one compliment leading to another, until they engage in masturbation as she directs him to show his face as well as his penis.
What happened once it was over? Within a half hour, “Abed” was being blackmailed online for over 6,000 dollars (5,000 euros). A man messaged and claimed that he had the video and unless “Abed” sent him the money, he would transmit the video to all of the man’s friends and family and even post it to YouTube. And the woman he communicated with? Likely pre-recorded video from a pornography website.
Scam #2: Malware
Although scam #1 is awful enough to imagine, another Skype scam is even more covert. It is when a Scammer has malware installed on your computer, without you knowing. From there, the scammer can operate your webcam and, worse, record multiple images of you without your knowledge!
The camera’s indicator light isn’t a dead giveaway of being hacked as even this can be disabled by the scammer. By recording embarrassing things, users can then be blackmailed, much like in scam #1.
Use Social Catfish to check to verify the identity of the stranger you met online through Skype:
Scammers who blackmail others trust you to be scared and give them what they want (usually money).
If you find yourself being coerced:
Even if you avoid video chat on Skype, you might still reveal personal details which can be used against you. Proceed with caution!
Also, use Social Catfish to check that strangers’ identity you met online through Skype: