Victim recovers some money from ‘Alicia Kydd’ extortion
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May 17, 2024

Victim recovers some money from ‘Alicia Kydd’ extortion

Repeated attempts by a blackmailer to extort money from a man, prompted the victim to seek the assistance of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), and, by way of an investigation, a portion of the money has been successfully recovered.

The extortion scheme, which is believed to have affected others as well, involves cat-fishing by a Facebook account that carries the name ‘Alicia Kydd’ from Georgetown. SEARCHLIGHT understands that the account is being managed by a male inmate currently serving time at His Majesty’s Prison on firearm related charges. However, up to press time, there was no confirmation from the police on this detail.

The account initiates conversation after which there is an exchange of communication, including the sharing of sensitive messages, photographs and videos. This is then followed by threats of exposing the compromising communication to the victim’s family, place of employment, and to the public.

This was the scenario that played out in early April when the Alicia Kydd account began interacting with the victim, who resides in another Caribbean country. The conversation began with an exchange of greetings and then evolved into sexual communications. In late April, ‘Alicia Kydd’ launched into the blackmail threats, demanding thousands of dollars and threatened to have the messages and photographs shared publicly if the victim did not comply.

A source with details of how the scam unfolded told SEARCHLIGHT the victim feared that the release of the messages and photographs would damage his reputation and his relationship with his family. As a result, he agreed to pay.

On three separate occasions, money was sent through a money transfer service from the Caribbean island where the victim resides to recipients in St Vincent and the Grenadines who were acting on behalf of the blackmailer.

The source explained that the blackmailer requested different persons to collect the money in their names and hold onto the cash until his prison sentence was complete after which he would collect. The persons agreed, however it was not confirmed if they had full knowledge of the extent of the extortion scheme. SEARCHLIGHT further understands that the photos that the blackmailer sent to the victim were sourced from a female relative who was apparently aware that the images were being used in the catfishing scam.

The blackmailer continued to make more requests for cash of substantial amounts from the victim, which prompted the victim to travel to SVG to make a report to the local police. He provided evidence of the conversation as well as receipts of the transactions.

The monies amounted to close to EC$6,000 and, to date almost EC$2,500 was recovered from the pawns who assisted the blackmailer. The source told SEARCHLIGHT the victim is pleased with the work done by the local police in recovering the money, however, the source could not confirm if the victim will proceed with filing formal charges.

Last Friday May 10, 2024, the police released a public advisory titled ‘Protect Yourself Against Online Blackmail and Extortion’ urging the public to exercise caution when engaging in communication and sharing personal or sensitive information online.

They also issued a warning about the fictitious Facebook account named ‘Alicia Kydd’ and requested that any interactions with this account be made known to the police.

The advisory provided recommendations to protect against blackmail and extortion, including verifying identities of persons they are interacting with and promptly making reports to the police when threats of blackmail are made.

Up to the time of the publication of this article, the ‘Alicia Kydd’ Facebook account had been last active on social media on Thursday, May 9.