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About 70% of the victims were female; more than half were women 40 years or older.
In one version, the scam originates from a dating website or social network site like Facebook.
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.
Others have threatened to post the footage to porn sites or You Tube.
What you may believe to be a highly intimate and private moment may in fact be watched by a room full of strangers.
Eventually, they may ask you to join a Skype (video) call with them.