Dozens of women have had their social media accounts hacked and their intimate photos used against them, as part of a long-running scam Victoria Police are cracking down on.

Cybercrime squad detectives are investigating a scam where offenders use hacked social media accounts to gain access to accounts and hunt for sensitive data, like intimate photos and videos, to blackmail women.

A message sent in the scam. Credit:Victoria Police

Police said the victims are often contacted by a friend, who say they are locked out of their social media account and have nominated them to receive a verification code to unlock it.

When the victims receive the code, though, it unlocks their account. Once their account is unlocked, the offender searches it for compromising or intimate images, or other material they can use to blackmail the victims.

Offenders then might use images to blackmail victims into giving them more intimate images or to get them to move onto other online platforms.

Detectives have linked one alleged perpetrator of the scam to at least 34 women since mid-2019. Police said it appeared the victims do not know the offender.

In a screen-shot shared by Victoria Police, a social media user confronts an alleged offender, saying: “I’m sure you know that everyone on her friends’ list knows she’s been hacked”.

The alleged offender responds: “For every 5 that know 1 doesn’t and when you spam it out the odds are in my favour … [sic]”

In a statement, Victoria Police said…

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