UCI CARE provides free and confidential support services to members of the UCI community impacted by sexual assault, relationship abuse, family violence and/or stalking. UCI CARE aims to end these forms of power-based personal violence by engaging the campus community in education, programming, and transformative action. About CARE
- Medical Options
- Campus Reporting
- Law Enforcement
- Counseling, Support and Healing
There have been recent cases of webcam blackmail occurring to students on campus and in other places and we want our community to be informed, safe and know what to do if this happens to you.
How does webcam blackmail work?
First contact is made through dating websites or social media accounts and a person with an attractive profile will add you and initiate contact. These accounts will use fake pictures and other social media accounts to look as real as possible. The scammer will retrieve more personal information like phone number, list of Facebook friends, company name, through continued conversation. This conversation will then turn “naughty” and move towards communicating on the webcam. The scammer uses a pre-recorded video, which tricks the victim into believing this person is real. They engage in a more “adult” webcam game and throughout this, the scammer will be recording the victim’s actions. It is after this video of the victim is recorded that the scammer reveals themselves and begins the blackmail. In this age of rampant social media, is easy for these scammers to find a lot of personal information. On social networks like Facebook, a public profile or misconfigured privacy settings allows the scammer to have easy access to photos, friends list, family members, colleagues, and the name of your employer. Once the scammer is in possession of a private video which involves nudity, masturbation, etc and has access to personal information, they will request the payment of money in exchange for not spreading the video to your contacts or online. Fear is the scammer’s best ally in these situations.
What to do if this happens to you?
1) Do not give into the blackmail: cut off all contact with the scammers. Terrorizing you is the scammer’s best weapon to get you to pay the amount requested.
2) Do not pay the amount request as this could encourage them to continue to threaten and harass you for more money.
3) If possible, delete your accounts and change your phone number. If you cannot delete, do not respond to any messages.
4) To avoid the video being sent to your Facebook friends, make sure that your account is secure and adjust the privacy settings so that no one can see your friends. You can also contact your Facebook friends and let them know that a hacker will try to make contact with them and to not click on anything they send.
5) Make sure you only accept friend requests from people you know and trust and make sure that there is no personal information about yourself on the Internet.
6) Remember that you can always come to the CARE office and speak with an advocate for support.
7) Contact the police department.
- Sex Offense
Sex offenses are acts of interpersonal violence and non-consensual sexual acts including:
- sexual assault
- domestic violence
- dating violence
- Sexual Assault
Sexual assault occurs when physical sexual activity is engaged in without the consent of the other person. The conduct may include:
- Physical force, violence, threat or intimidation
- Ignoring the objections of the other person
- Causing the other person’s intoxication or impairment through the use of drugs or alcohol
- Taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication), state of intimidation, or other inability to consent
- Sexual battery
- Domestic Violence
Behavior that includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse by a current or former spouse, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting or has cohabited with the complainant as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the laws of the jurisdiction, or any other person against an adult or youth survivor who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic violence laws.
- Dating Violence
Behavior that includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse committed by a person who has been in a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of factors such as length of relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between persons involved in the relationship.
Behavior in which a person repeatedly engages in conduct directed at a specific person that places that person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or the safety of others.
An "Attempt" occurs when anyone attempts to commit a sex offense but fails, or is prevented or intercepted in its perpetration.
Consent is positive cooperation involving an act of free will, absent of coercion, intimidation, force, or the threat of force.
A person cannot give effective consent if he/she is unable to appreciate the nature of the sexual act, as with a person who has a disability that would impair understanding of the act or if a person is impaired by the influence of drugs or alcohol.Learn more about consent
Abuse means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself or another. Abuse may include:
- Physical abuse involves acts such as hitting, slapping, pushing, punching, kicking, and choking. It could involve using a weapon or object to threaten or hurt someone. It also includes throwing, smashing, or breaking personal items and hurting or killing of pets.
- Sexual abuse involves pressuring or forcing someone to engage in non-consensual sexual acts, including creating pictures or videos.
- Verbal abuse involves put downs, name calling, yelling or swearing.
- Emotional abuse involves ignoring someone or using looks or actions or speaking in ways that are frightening or threatening.
- Sexual misconduct
Sexual misconduct is non-consensual sexual activity that does not involve touching, for example:
- Electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person
- Allowing third parties to observe sexual acts
- Engaging in voyeurism
- Exposing oneself