Belfast Telegraph

Sextortion: Three cases in 24 hours in Fermanagh, PSNI say

Three attempts were made within 24 hours to blackmail people with compromising pictures online, police in Fermanagh have said.

In an attempt to raise awareness of the problem, and advise the public on how to protect themselves, PSNI Fermanagh posted about the issue to their Facebook page.

They wrote: "Sextortion. We haven’t had that many of these cases recently, probably because we are all more aware of this, but we’ve just had three cases in the last 24 hours, so these criminal gangs are always waiting to pounce."

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Police advise that the only sure way to prevent online blackmail is to "never share intimate images online with someone you don't know".

The PSNI also posted a video with useful tips and information.

If you do find yourself compromised, you can protect yourself by contacting the police who guarantee your confidentiality, and your internet service provider.

Other tips include:

  • Don't communicate with the individual/s
  • Take screenshots as much as you can
  • If it happens on Facebook, suspend your account rather than deleting it so that the police can track the criminals. Bear in mind any other apps that you might have linked to your Facebook account.
  • Report online to any platforms used, such as Skype or YouTube. These companies can not only block the images/video, they can set up an alert in case it ever tries to resurface.
  • Don't pay - ever. If you do, you’ll just get more demands, for more money, and your details will be sold to other criminals on a ‘Suckers List’.
  • Turn the tables on them by making a note of the Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), the Facebook URL, the Western Union or MoneyGram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN), and/or any photos or videos that were sent.
  • Important note for Skype: The scammer's Skype name is different to their Skype ID, and it's the ID details that we really need. To get that, right click on their profile, select ‘View Profile’ and then look for the name shown in blue rather than the one above it in black. It'll be next to the word ’Skype’ and will have no spaces in it.

Above all, do not delete any correspondence, the police stress. "We know this can be upsetting. But keep it in context, you are a victim, of an organised criminal gang, but you’re going to get through it, and we will help you."

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