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"Sextortion" warning after seven cases of blackmail

 
Created on 02/05/2018 @ 16:12
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An urgent warning has been issued to local people by police after seven reports of blackmail were recorded over the last fortnight by victims who sent naked pictures and videos of themselves to fraudsters.

In one instance of 'sextortion', a local victim was told to pay £6,000 or the images would be shared with their family and friends over social media, or posted online to sex sites.

And now Dyfed-Powys Police has urged other victims to come forward without feeling embarrassed.

In some of these cases, local victims have been contacted by strangers, normally ‘young women’, on social media and have been asked to share intimate photos or videos of themselves. They soon receive the blackmail threats.

In other instances, victims have received emails from unknown people who claim to have sexual photos or videos of them. They threaten to share these with friends and family unless they are paid.

Detective Sergeant Rob Gravelle, from the force’s Digital Communications and Cyber Crime Unit, said: “The first thing we would urge is don’t panic, and don’t respond to blackmail threats. Report it to police immediately.

“Don’t communicate with the blackmailer further, but take screenshots of any chat history as evidence. Please also take a note of their user IDs, money transfer control numbers and any photos or video that were sent.

“If any photos or videos appear on a website or social media account, report these to the site as soon as you can. Ask for the images to be removed and for the perpetrator to be blocked.

“What is really important is for victims to feel empowered to report sextortion and blackmail without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. You are not alone, and it is very likely that other people will have been targeted by these criminals.

“Your call will be treated sensitively, and by reporting incidents you could help prevent other people from becoming victims.”

To report blackmail or sextortion to Dyfed-Powys Police call 101. If you are at immediate threat of harm, always call 999.

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