Italy investigates Skype in porn blackmail case

When the internet and video come together, there are bound to be people who will do bad things. While we are busy worrying about Snapchat and the possible implications from its use, Italy is more concerned about Microsoft's video chat and phone call service Skype. The company is at the center of a current ongoing lawsuit in the European nation regarding porn blackmail. No Skype isn't to blame and is not in trouble here, it was simply the vehicle for the crime.

Police in the city of Genoa are investigating the service in regards to allegations that it is being used to lure people into being, shall we say, indiscriminate in what they show on video. That video is captured and then used to blackmail the victim in an effort to extort money. Reports claim as many as 11 victims have reported falling prey to this scheme, though there is always the chance that others exist but are simply too embarrassed to speak up.

According to the few details available, the case involves females who were prompted via social media services, such as Facebook, and then encouraged into Skype conversations which were secretly recorded. The case came to light after a local businessman reported it, and Alessandra Belardini, a deputy police chief with the postal and communications police, talked about it. She states, "the victims are of all ages and social classes. Many of them are ashamed and are reticent about reporting the blackmail attempt to the authorities."

The scammers are seeking compensation in the neighborhood of around $700 US and threaten to turn the images over to the victims' Facebook friends if the demands go unmet. For the moment, nobody has been charged in this case, as the investigation is ongoing.

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