Police in ‘sextortion’ warning after rise in blackmail reports in Bedfordshire

In the last month alone, there were 12 reports

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:10 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 10:22 am

Bedfordshire Police are warning those on social media of the risk of sharing intimate images online after receiving several reports of ‘sextortion’.

In the last month alone, Bedfordshire Police has had 12 reports of this type of blackmail.

So-called ‘sextortion’ involves victims being lured into performing sexual acts, or taking intimate images.

Be careful what you post online

Unbeknown to them, their acts are often recorded by the criminals who then use the images to blackmail them. The fraudsters may threaten to upload the content to the internet, and send it to the victim’s friends or family if they do not comply with their demands.

In the majority of cases, the motive is financially driven and victims may end up paying large sums of money to the offender, who may even be based in an entirely different country.

A change in legislation in June 2021 made the threats of disclosure of private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress, commonly referred to as the sharing or posting of ‘revenge porn’ online, illegal.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Hamm said: “We would advise anyone against sending intimate pictures or performing sexual acts online, as once in they are in the cyber arena they can never be completely deleted.

“It is also important to remember that you should never transfer money or give away personal information to people you’ve never physically met. Only accept friend requests on social media from people you know in real life, as if something seems too good to be true, sadly it probably is."

Contact 0800 0282887 or visit Signpost for Bedfordshire