DC Greg Dakin said: “These are very serious cases and have caused a great deal of upset to the victims. None of the victims paid the money demanded, which in some cases was as high as £1,000, but they have been left traumatised by the experience and we believe there are many more victims who choose not to report incidents to police.”
Sextortion is the common term used to describe the cyber-enabled crime where victims are lured into performing sexual acts in front of a web-camera. Unknown to the victims, their acts are recorded by criminals who then use the footage in an attempt to extort money from them or demand more explicit images.
Criminals often threaten to upload recordings to the internet or send them to the victims’ friends and family via social media. Facebook and WhatsApp were used to target the victims of the latest offences.
DC Dakin said: “Typically there are two types of demand made of the victim, either for further indecent photographs of the victim to be forwarded, or a demand for money, which was the case in three of these four reported incidents.”
“Consider very carefully about who you befriend online, especially if you are considering sharing anything intimate with them. Even if do you know them, could you share something with them that they could use against you in the future.