The PSNI has issued a fresh appeal for internet users to be vigilant about their privacy and security, following what it dubbed “a number of reports of webcam blackmail in recent weeks”.
Detective Chief Inspector James Mullen advised people not to share personal information or images with people they do not know.
He added: “Do not get lured into compromising situations such as removing clothes or performing intimate acts online. You do not know who may see the images.
“It may seem like a bit of fun at the time but there is always a chance those images could be shared or get into the wrong hands and could lead to harmful situations such as stalking, abuse or blackmail.”
He further advised:
- Don’t accept friend requests with someone you don’t know - everyone online may not be who they say they are.
- Set privacy settings on all devices so that only people you know can view your account.
- If something happens to you, do not pay any money. Do not respond to the blackmailer’s demands, but report the issue to the police on 101 and the relevant social networking site so that action can be taken.
- We need people to come forward and report incidents so that we can investigate and hopefully prevent others from falling victim to this type of crime.
He advised visiting www.getsafeonline.org for more information.