Police warn of blackmail scam after Northern Ireland men ‘seduced’ into sharing intimate videos online
The PSNI has issued a warning after reports that multiple men in Northern Ireland were blackmailed online over compromising footage.
In a post on social media, officers warned that the threats were coming from organised gangs posing as women after their unsuspecting victims shared footage of themselves online.
Police have said they have recently dealt with "multiple online blackmailing incidents".
This saw men being "tempted, coaxed and seduced" into posing in compromising positions on webcams to strangers.
An officer posting on the PSNI's Craigavon Facebook page explained the process of the set-up and how the culprits infiltrate people's friends list on social media.
"The set-up: 'girls' send suggestive, dirty messages, building it until they ask you to video call them.
"During the conversation they've added you on Facebook or other social media and thus get your friends list.
"When you do video call them, you see a girl doing something suggestive or enticing and are encouraged to do the same. What you don't realise is that they're screen recording, and as you do whatever you're doing, they are capturing everything they need.
"No sooner have you caught your breath than you're sent a link to a private YouTube video which, to your horror, is you doing what you've just done.
"Now, remember that friends list? They now have links to the profiles and will send you that list too, with the threat of sharing the video with your friends if you don't pay hundreds of £."
The PSNI has offered a guide of what to do for people who find themselves in this situation.
The advice is:
1. Paying them will not make them go away. It will make them ask for more. Never pay.
2. Call police immediately.
3. Capture screen shots of any conversations. This gives police evidence.
4. Don't bargain with them. You're not talking to the person you think you are.
The officer added: "Of course, prevention is better than cure.
"NEVER engage in any intimate online activity with anyone you don't know.
"There are some nasty people out there who know how our simple man brains work.
"They will take advantage of that. They will exploit that.
"Normal strangers won't strip on camera for free.
"If it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is."