Tragic teen kills himself after falling prey to online blackmail plot


POLICE are investigating a teenager’s suicide after he was ensnared in a webcam blackmail plot.

Daniel Perry, from Dunfermline, Fife, was trapped into taking part in online Skype conversations with someone he believed was a girl of the same age.

But when a recording of the call was used to try to blackmail the 17-year-old, from West Fife, he decided life was no longer worth living and jumped to his death from the Forth Road Bridge.

Daniel fell victim to a online blackmail scam
Daniel fell victim to a online blackmail scam


The teenager died on July 15 after being pulled from the water.

Daniel, an apprentice mechanic at Kingdom Cars,  was told by blackmailers that if he did not pay money into a specified account the Skype footage would be shown to friends and family.

The criminals warned the teenager he “would be better off dead” if he did not pay up.

Less than an hour later the tragic teen took his own life.

A member of Daniel’s family, who asked not to be named, said: “Knowing him as I do, he has felt embarrassed, horrified and has thought he’s let everybody down.

“He was coming up for his 18th birthday so it’s not as if we could have been checking what he was doing on his laptop.”

“However he wasn’t doing anything wrong, just what anyone his age might do, but this scam is all about exploiting young people.

“Even if he came and said he needed money we’d have helped him but we knew nothing about any of it.”

The family member added: “He was not the type of person who let things get him down. He was a happy laddie, not depressed and the last type of person you would think would take their life.

The 17-year-old was an apprentice mechanic with his life ahead of him, said his family
The 17-year-old was an apprentice mechanic with his life ahead of him, said his family


“We’re a very close family and I just wished he had come to me and said something. I would have gone on the computer and told them to P-off.”

The scam operates by conning young men into thinking they are having chatroom conversations with a girl but in fact they are being recorded.

The blackmailers then find out personal details of their prey via Facebook and threaten to send the video to friends and family.

On the day of his death, Daniel had posted his Skype details on his Twitter account telling followers to “skype me.”

Shortly before killing himself, the youngster had asked the blackmailers via his laptop “what can I do to stop you showing this to my family?”

He was then told to pay funds into a named bank account or his life would not be worth living and he “would be better off dead”.

He replied “bye.”

Daniel's family insisted he had done nothing wrong
Daniel’s family insisted he had done nothing wrong


Later that day he sent a text message to his family telling them he was on his way home but instead the youth went to the Forth Bridge and jumped at around 7.30pm.

He was still alive when rescued by a lifeboat crew about an hour later but died a shortly afterwards.

The family member said: “When I feel strong enough I want to do something to stop this happening to other young people. I’ll go to the high schools and tell them what can happen.

“If I can stop this from happening to other young people then I feel I’ll have done something for him.

“He was the type to laugh things off. I still can’t believe this has happened and expect him to walk in the door any minute.”

At his funeral held at the Dunfermline Crematorium £700 was raised for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the family thanked the Queensferry Units rapid response team paramedics for their help.

A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed they were investigating the circumstances of the suicide.


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