POLICE are urging anyone in the region targeted by sextortion to report it – so they can get the support they deserve.
Sextortion is sexual extortion and involves the threat of having sexual information, photos or videos shared with others. It is carried out to extort money or force a victim to do something against their will, control behaviour or obtain further images.
Figures published last month by the force showed an increase in reported crimes of threats and extortion.
Commenting, Assistant Chief Constable David Duncan said: “Sextortion is blackmail and those targeted should not pay, nor should they be embarrassed or scared to report it to police.
“We are experiencing an increase in the number of sextortion incidents being reported and although we are encouraged that victims appear more confident in coming forward, we know from our partners that it is still likely to be an under-reported offence.
“Criminals use the internet, social media, dating apps, web cams or pornography sites and fake identities to befriend people online and then threaten to send images to their family and friends.
“People shouldn’t panic, there is support available from policing and from third party organisations. We want people to know they will be treated with respect and dignity and the circumstances investigated professionally.”
He signposted their website for advice on how to stay safe online and particularly advised people not to share intimate images.
n To find out more, go to www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/internet-safety/sextortion/