Police in Craigavon have issued a 'sextortion' warning to internet users after dealing with three cases in the past 24 hours.
In a message posted to PSNI Craigavon's Facebook page, the public is warned: 'criminal gangs are always waiting to pounce'.
"We haven’t had that many of these cases recently, probably because we are all more aware of this," the post reads, "but we’ve just had three cases in the last 24 hours, so these criminal gangs are always waiting to pounce.
"Watch the video to see how it happens."
The police issued the following advice:
Protect yourself. There is only one way to prevent it… don’t share intimate images online with someone you don’t know. But if you do get caught up in this, here’s how to defend yourself.
1. DON'T PANIC
Call us. We guarantee your confidentiality. And all we’re interested in, is catching these criminals. Report the incident your internet service provider too.
2. DON'T COMMUNICATE WITH THEM
Screenshot as much as you can. If it happens on Facebook, SUSPEND your account, but DON’T DELETE it! You can reactivate it intact later, and in the meantime, we can get a start on tracking the criminals. Think about your other apps linked to Facebook too. Go online to report the incident to any other platforms used, e.g. Skype or YouTube, not only can they they block it, but they can set up an alert in case it ever tries to resurface.
3. DON’T PAY – EVER!
Are you seriously thinking about giving money to someone who has just blackmailed you?!! Here’s what happens, you’ll just get more demands, for more money, and your details will be sold to other criminals on a ‘Suckers List’. Oh, and guess what? Paying them to remove the video won’t make it happen, remember what you’re dealing with here…..
4. TURN THE TABLES ON THEM – here’s how you can help our detectives….
Make a note of the evidence the criminals have shared with you!! The Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), The Facebook URL; The Western Union or MoneyGram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN); Any photos or videos that were sent.
SPECIAL SKYPE INSTRUCTIONS
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.
PLEASE DO NOT DELETE ANY CORRESPONDENCE
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. You’re not the first victim, nor will you be the last. But you can help us catch these creatures.
REPORT IT TO US.
DON’T COMMUNICATE WITH THEM.
THEN TURN THE TABLES ON THEM.