Police in North Wales dealing with nearly 7 ‘Sextortion’ crimes a month
North Wales Police say they have dealt with 40 so called Sextortion cases since April.
The crime involves victims being lured into performing sexual acts in front of their web-cam not realising they are actually being recorded by criminals who then attempt to blackmail the victim by threatening to reveal the intimate images unless their demands are met.
Victims are often targeted through dating apps, social media, webcams or adult pornography sites.
While sextortion can be committed by individuals, sometimes ex-partners, organised crime gangs are commonly behind it
CI Gary Kelly said; “We are reminding people to be very careful, especially at this time of year when criminals try to exploit increased internet and social media activity.”
“Remember sometimes the people you meet online aren’t who they say they are.”
“Criminals might befriend you online by using a fake identity and then persuade you to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam, often by using attractive people to entice you to participate. These webcam videos are recorded by the criminals who then threaten to share the images with your friends and family.
“We know this can make people feel extremely ashamed and embarrassed and, tragically, there have been case in Britain and abroad where victims have taken their own lives after being targeted in this way.”
“Since April 2019 there have been 40 Sextortion cases reported to North Wales Police, mostly online with victims ranging from 13 to 75 years old, 60% being male and 40% female.”
“Most offenders are based abroad and have sophisticated cyber security to cloak their identities. So to help us investigate such incidents, if you are a victim of sextortion, please refer to the following advice;
Do not panic
- Call us on 101.We will deal with your report in absolute confidence and we will not make judgements about your behaviour
Do not communicate further
- Take screen shots of all your communication.
- Suspend your Facebook account (but don’t delete it) and use the online reporting processes to report the matter to Skype, YouTube etc.
Do not pay
- Many victims who pay continue to get demands for higher amounts of money.
- In some cases, even when demands are met the offenders will still post the explicit videos online.
- If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn’t, cancel the payment – the sooner you do that the better.
- Make a note of all details provided by the offenders.
- Don’t delete any correspondence.
If this has happened to you and you’re under 18 please talk to an adult that you trust. It may feel like there is no way out, but there are professionals who can help.
Further help and support
- Get Safe Online
- PAPYRUSprovides confidential advice and support and works to prevent young suicide in the UK.
- Samaritansto talk any time you like in your own way and off the record