A number of Northern Ireland men have been blackmailed over video footage of them performing sex acts.
The victims were duped into recording themselves performing or participating in sex acts - and then threatened with their online publication.
Some felt so embarrassed by the so-called "sextortion", police said, that they paid money by Western Union transfer to accounts in the Ivory Coast.
A PSNI spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph the crimes happened in the Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus and Antrim areas.
Detective Sergeant Neil Maxwell said there had been an increase in these types of crime and that they involved men of all ages.
He added: "We want anyone who has been the victim of this type of crime to come forward. Do not feel pressurised into paying money as this is unlikely to resolve the issue.
"We are seeing an increase in these types of crime and we can help you.
"Finally, don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t be prepared to do in public.
"There is no such thing as private on the internet and unfortunately there are criminals out there who are only too willing to exploit people for money."