Staffordshire Police are warning internet users to be vigilant after several people have been targeted by a ‘sextortion’ cyber scam.
In the last few days, officers have seen a rise in these cyber-blackmail cases, in which people are threatened with having intimate photos or videos posted online if money isn’t paid.
Sextortion is blackmailing a victim not to post sexually explicit images or footage on social networking, photo-sharing or revenge porn websites.
Detective Chief Inspector Dan Ison from Force CID is asking people to report an blackmailing attempts to them.
He said: “Over the past week we have seen a rise in the number of cyber-blackmail offences reported to us, but I’m quite sure there a lot of people who have received an email and haven’t told us and I would urge them to come forward and report it.
“This is a very distressing crime, which preys on people’s vulnerabilities and worries about any consequences. The welfare of victims is paramount and I want to reassure people that this is highly likely to be a scam, you have nothing to fear.
“Do not be too embarrassed to report it and do not attempt to respond to any threat or pay any money. Grab a screen shot of communication and please report it to us online and trust that we will then investigate.”
DCI Ison added: “Inquiries are ongoing into these emails and we are working closely with partners such as the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council to crack down on offenders.”
You can report any crime via our website, via our Twitter and Facebook channels or call 101.