Skype is a great communication platform for calling anyone in the world without having to pay a cent. But, there are Skype scams out there that you should be aware of and watch out for. Keep reading to find out what some of the most unbelievable Skype scams are.
6 of the Most Unbelievable Skype Scams
1. Skype Sextortion Scams
There was a recent case of a Skype blackmail scam that involved a Middle Eastern man getting tricked into performing sexual acts on camera for who he thought was a beautiful woman that was romantically interested in him.
In this case, the “woman” reached out to him via Facebook, then asked to chat via Skype. One thing led to another, and the man was tricked into letting his guard (and his pants) down.
After the call ended, he received a message that said the person he was talking to was really a man and that he had recorded the whole video. The scammer threatened to send the video to a list of friends and family from Facebook if the victim didn’t pay up.
This is just one real-world example of a type of Skype sex scam to be wary of.
2. Tinder Skype Scams
In the example above, scammers used Facebook to reel their victim in. However, they have also been known to take advantage of people looking for love on Tinder and other relationship sites and ask them to connect via Skype, before proceeding to blackmail them.
3. Skype Malware Scams
Another kind of Skype blackmail scam involves scammers posing as potential employers or even government officials and requesting to connect via Skype. Then, they send files to download via Skype that install malware on your device to steal sensitive data and even take control of your webcam.
4. The Skype Ghana Scam
Another prominent Skype scam to be aware of is known as the Ghana Skype scam. In this scam, women from Ghana reach out to men in other countries via Skype, claiming they are interested in them and just want to talk.
They then go on to earn their victim’s trust, and eventually come up with some kind of story to get the unsuspecting men to send them money. Of course, the person they are talking to is just a scammer, and probably not even a woman.
5. Skype Interview Scams
Another way scammers use Skype is by hosting fake job interviews. They list fake jobs on sites like LinkedIn and other job boards, then hold interviews with their victims via Skype.
The scammers go to a lot of effort to make their targets feel like it’s a real job interview, then offer them a job and ask for personal information, such as Social Security numbers and bank account info, to proceed with the process.
6. Skype Automated Message Scam
In this final entry on our list of common Skype scams, the scammers send automated messages over Skype telling you that your laptop or other device is working slowly and needs to be repaired. They then direct you to perform certain processes that end up giving them control over your device, so they can steal data from you or blackmail you.
How To Spot and Avoid a Skype Scam
Carry Out Social Media and Google Image Searches
If you talk to anyone on Skype that you haven’t met in person, always investigate their profiles on social media to make sure they are authentic. Also, you can save their profile picture and upload it into the Google image search bar and do a search to determine whether it appears anywhere else online, which tells you if you’re being catfished.
Never Give Out Your Bank or Card Details To a Stranger on Skype
This one is pretty self explanatory. Never, ever send financial details, such as bank account numbers or credit card info, to anyone over Skype.
Block Friend Requests from Strangers on Skype
Skype is not a dating site or a social networking site. Any strangers that reach out to you via Skype are probably just trying to scam you, so block their friend requests and don’t engage with them.
Don’t Be Fooled by Friend Requests on Facebook
As we mentioned earlier, scammers often use Facebook or other social networking sites to trick their victims into talking over Skype. So, if a stranger adds you on Facebook and asks to talk on Skype, be VERY suspicious of them. This is especially true if they claim to be looking for a romantic connection.
Carry Out Video Calls Over Skype
Scammers usually don’t want to show themselves via video and typically prefer to stick to text-based chat. They can play pre-recorded videos to trick you into thinking you are talking to a beautiful woman or someone else, but they leave the audio off with some excuse for doing so.
In the example at the beginning of the article, of the man getting tricked into performing sexual acts on video, he was fooled because he never actually spoke to the woman he was seeing on the video. It was pre-recorded and the scammers were just sending text messages via SKype as the video played.
What To Do If You Are Scammed On Skype?
Report the Scam To the FTC
The FTC is the government body responsible for handling scams in the United States. If you live in the US, the first thing to do after getting scammed on Skype is report the scam to them. If you live elsewhere, do a Google search to find out where to report Skype scams in your country.
Block the User
After you realize you get scammed, immediately stop all communication with the scammers and block their account. This will protect you from any further damage. Should you find yourself victim of an Skype Scam, contact PayBack the moneyback experts, to get a free consultation and retrieve what's rightfully yours.