Sex Video Scams rife on Social Media


Users of social media platforms have been warned of a trend where scammers threaten to publicly share or expose intimate or compromising material such as explicit photos or videos, if victims do not pay a ransom.

Although not new, this form of scam is becoming popular as the number of users on social media platforms continues to increase.

In an interview in Accra with The Mirror, Mr Derek Laryea, a technology consultant, said the trend was common on popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram and TikTok.

Also known as ‘sextortion’, he explained that scammers usually pose as “an attractive person”, exchange pleasantries, build familiarity and initiate sexual communication.

He said about 95 per cent of victims of sextortion were males and the scammers were usually a cartel of men and women. He added that most often, the young women initiated the conversations.

“More recently, cyber criminals employ the use of a combination of two or three social platforms on their victims. It is usually a scam tactic to wear out the victim and create an impression in their minds that they are being led to a safer zone. So, usually, the conversation will start on Facebook or Instagram and as you build a “relationship”, they will ask to chat on WhatsApp instead just to make you comfortable,” he explained.

He said it is at this stage that the female actors call their victims, wearing sexy lingerie or naked.

“A video call with a naked lady and your image (face) on a video call is incriminating enough, depending on your reputation and public image. Avoiding such calls is a completely safe cyber hygiene practice for everyone,” Mr Laryea advised. 

“Because cyber criminals employ the use of a combination of multiple social media platforms to perpetuate these crimes, the general public needs to stay vigilant and clear of any offers online to engage in sexual conversation or general flirtatious chats to ensure their utmost safety,” he warned.


The IT expert said in the past few months, he had assisted some men who had fallen victim to such scams to trace the real identities and locations of their scammers.

One of the men who fell prey to this scam had been paying GH₵4000 at different times since February this year, as the scammer had threatened to release screen recordings of a video with a naked lady.

Further search he said revealed that the recipient of the cash was a man who used the name “Felicia” and hired a sex worker to place the video call.

Mr Laryea also recounted a personal incident where an account that initiated a conversation on Instagram asked to show him a video on WhatsApp.

He said knowing their tactics, he responded to the request but in a dark room which made it difficult for the scammer to capture his face.

The scammer, after persistently insisting that he turn on the light, and later sensing she had been caught, rained insults on him and hung up.

He, however, warned that the best way to avoid being complicated in such scams was to completely ignore such conversations on social media platforms.

Mr Laryea explained that once the scammers had access to a person’s private information or explicit pictures and videos, they started coercing them to comply with their demands.

“Some scammers go further to warn their victims to keep the “transaction” a secret and not to involve law enforcement agencies,” he added.

The strategy, he explained, was to instill fear and exacerbate an emotional toll so that victims give the scammers what they demanded.

The IT expert said while these social media platforms were important for networking and staying in tune with current trends, users must regularly review and adjust privacy settings to limit the amount of personal information visible to the public and be cautious about sharing personal information.

“Be skeptical of unsolicited messages, especially those requesting sensitive details or intimate content. Enable two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security. Also, practice the use of strong, unique passwords for each online account and update them regularly,” he recommended.

He also asked users to “educate you and stay informed about common online scams and be aware of evolving tactics used by scammers. If you encounter suspicious behavior or receive threatening messages, report them to the relevant online platform and law enforcement agencies.”


  1.  How do scammers entice their victims on social media? Scammers usually pose as attractive individuals and initiate sexual communication, building familiarity with their victims.
  2. What percentage of sextortion victims are males? About 95% of sextortion victims are males.
  3. What tactics do scammers use to make their victims feel comfortable? Scammers often ask their victims to switch to a different social media platform, such as WhatsApp, to create a false sense of security.
  4. What is the risk of engaging in video calls with scammers? Engaging in video calls with scammers can lead to incriminating evidence, depending on one’s reputation and public image.
  5. How can individuals protect themselves from such scams? It is recommended to avoid engaging in sexual conversations or flirtatious chats online and to stay vigilant of any suspicious offers.
Dennis Enyonam
Author: Dennis Enyonam

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