Users of video services, such as Skype, should be aware of a variety of scams that may use footage and images captured without your knowledge, to blackmail you.
Other reports include the scammer manipulating the images taken, to make them seem worse.
The scammers may threaten to send compromising pictures or video footage of you to your friends, colleagues or family, or post it to your networks such as Skype contacts or Facebook friends.
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.
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.
This malware is known as a Remote Access Trojan or RAT and can remotely activate your webcam, at the same time, disabling your camera indicator light. The information provided here is of a general nature. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.
Eventually, they may ask you to join a Skype (video) call with them.
During the video call the scammer may attempt to lead you into participating in intimate, sexual activity or nudity, which can later be used to blackmail you.
Scammers may use carefully prepared webcam images or footage of themselves which may initially seem flattering, but can increasingly become coercive and explicit.
They steadily increase pressure on you to participate, which they record and later threaten to distribute online.