Nude pictures of married Irish father posted online following blackmail scam
A married Irish father has spoken about what happened when he didn't pay a gang of Facebook scammers who nabbed him in a 'sextortion' plot.
The 42-year-old has spoken to the Belfast Telegraph about how he was duped and how he coped with his ordeal
The Ivory Coast based gang were demanding €3,400 from him and when he didn't pay, the naked images were posted online.
"I had a friend request from somebody I don't know on Facebook," the man only identified as Robert explained.
"I accepted it, and about five minutes later I received a message through Facebook messenger.
"A girl then called me on a video message - basically she stripped off and asked me to show her my bits.
"I stupidly done it and the next thing I know they were asking for $4,000 or they were going to send the pictures to everybody on my friends list."
After insisting he was unemployed and had no money to send, Robert said the gang swiftly posted the images online, trying to send them to his contacts, including his son and brother.
Despite deleting his social media account the images remain online.
Robert took screenshots on his phone of the threatening messages but said he believed there was nothing police could do.
"When I told my wife she blew up. I don't blame her, I feel stupid. But she doesn't want any of her family knowing about it," he said.
"I just wanted to warn other people. I took the only way to get out of it, which was to confess."
Reacting to Robert's story, online safety expert Jim Gamble said "sextortion" cases like this were being orchestrated on an "industrial scale" by gangs in Ivory Coast, Nigeria and the Philippines, as well as the United States.
He said that the PSNI was investigating many similar cases across Northern Ireland and urged Robert to share any information he could to assist with its investigations.
"I think a lot of people get involved in this because they don't see it as a real world betrayal, it's a person far away whom they'll never meet. Lots of men view it as if it's interactive pornography; it's not," he said.