Advertisement 87
Advertisement 323
An internet image illustrating "sextortion".
An internet image illustrating “sextortion”.

A man from another Caribbean country travelled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week as police in Kingstown investigated a case in which someone on the internet, claiming to be a woman, blackmailed him into sending them over EC$10,000 over some time.

iWitness News was reliably informed that the extortion began after the “woman”, who used a Facebook account in the name of “Alicia Kydd” and claimed to be from Georgetown, St. Vincent, exchanged nude photographs with the man and then threatened to send the photographs of him to his wife.

However, the case remained unsolved even after the man travelled to St. Vincent this week as police were unable to identify the alleged “Alicia Kydd”.

Police issued a public advisory on Friday urging people to protect themselves against online blackmail.

The police statement did not mention the details of the “Alicia Kydd” case but urged the public to exercise caution when engaging in communications and sharing “personal or sensitive information online”.

Advertisement 271

The statement said that police had determined that “Alicia Kydd”, of Georgetown, is a fictitious person.

“This account has been used in attempts to extort money from individuals by threatening to release their private information,” police said.

“We strongly advise the public to be vigilant and report any interactions with this account to the police.”

Police said online blackmail and extortion are serious crimes and encouraged victims to report such incidents without fear as they have legal protections against exploitation and harassment.

“The RSVGPF is committed to fighting cybercrime and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens. If you or someone you know is being targeted, do not hesitate to contact Police Emergency at 999/911, the Criminal Investigations Department at 784-456-1810 or any Police Station.”

The police have made the following recommendations:

Be cautious with sharing information: Avoid sharing sexually explicit or otherwise sensitive material with individuals you meet online. Once shared digitally, control over this information can easily be lost.

Verify identities: Exercise caution when accepting friend requests or engaging with strangers online. Verify the identity of individuals you interact with and be wary of providing personal information to someone you have not met in person.

Recognise extortion attempts: If someone threatens to share private information unless you pay them or meet their demands, recognise this as extortion. Do not comply with the demands.

Report immediately: If you find yourself a victim of online blackmail or extortion, contact the police immediately. Quick reporting can aid in addressing the situation effectively and possibly identifying the perpetrator.

Secure your accounts: Use strong, unique passwords for different online accounts and enable two-factor authentication to enhance security.