01:03PM, Monday 26 January 2015
A campaign has been launched by a bereaved mother from Windsor after her son hanged himself after receiving an internet scam email.
Joseph Edwards, 17, who had been diagnosed with autism, died at his home on August 16 after receiving an email from a bogus account pretending to be the police, accusing him of looking at illegal websites and demanding money from him.
An inquest into the St Leonard’s Road resident’s death was held at Windsor Guildhall on Thursday.
The former The Windsor Boys' School pupil's mum Jackie has made a plea for more action to be taken by scam websites and has called for those responsible to be prosecuted.
Mrs Edwards said: "I know now there is nothing that could bring my son back but I really want other people to be aware of the danger these sites present.
"Not only children, but older people and many others may be vulnerable to this sort of extortion.
"We have to do more to stop it."
Police are still investigating the email and are liaising with four specialists to help track down the people behind it.
A report by Detective Sergeant Peter Wall, read at Joseph’s inquest, described the email as ‘a poor attempt at blackmail’ but the teenager had been so distressed by the accusation and demand for money, that he hanged himself.
Mrs Edwards set up a Facebook page, called Fake Police E-mail Scam, in memory of Joseph Edwards, on Wednesday, January 21, in order to raise awareness of the risks presented by ‘dark net’ websites.
The group invites all those who share concerns about the dark net, to visit and share the page.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/fakepoliceemails?fref=ts to visit the page.
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