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Warning issued following reports of blackmail

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Police are reminding the public to think very carefully about their online interactions with others following several local reports of cyber related blackmail.

Detective Sergeant Neil Maxwell explains: “In the most recent cases men of various ages have been asked to perform or participate in a sexual act online which is recorded and then used to blackmail the individual with threats to upload the material on to social media platforms.

“Some victims have paid money because they have felt embarrassed and this usually involves a Western Union transfer to an account in the Ivory Coast.

“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.”

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