Communicating via video chat is a popular way for people stay connected, particularly for those across vast distances where in-person contact is difficult or impossible. It can be a much more rewarding experience than standard audio-only communication by allowing people to see the nuances of face-to-face contact with friends and loved ones. Not everyone who requests to be a contact on video chat services, however, has friendship in mind when they make contact.
Skype is a popular video chat service that allows people to stay in contact with one another. Scammers have turned to this tool as a way to dupe people into actions that can cause themselves serious harm. To initiate a video chat scam, scoundrels will spam Skype account holders with contact requests in the hopes that some will accept them. Once someone accepts the request, the scammer may spam the new contact with ads, send website links that direct unsuspecting targets to a harmful site, attempt a lonely a heart scam (fake a love interest and then ask for money), or encourage the target to reveal information via chat that the scammer can use to blackmail the person later on. Whatever the purpose for the contact, it’s bad news for the person who thought someone was genuinely interested in honest communication.
With so many dangers inherent with accepting a contact request from a stranger, why do some people do it? Curiosity might be one reason. The possibility that the person requesting contact is a former acquaintance from the past or a new acquaintance that someone met recently can be too alluring to ignore. Some people might be lonely and the request represents an opportunity to communicate with a live person who desires contact. It could also be a chance to make a sexual connection with someone that has an appealing photo and Skype account name such as sweet.cheeks, hot.moma, or lookingforlove.tonight.
Whatever the reason someone might be tempted to accept a contact request, unless the requestor is known in real life and is a desirable contact, always ignore the request, or better yet, flag it as spam. Never give a scammer the opportunity to take what’s yours and wreck your life. Always avoid contact via Skype and other video chat services with people you don’t know.