Five people including a 13-year-old have been targeted in a spate of attempted sextortion scams across Tayside.
Police Scotland is investigating five incidents in the last 10 days in which people aged 13 to 34 were targeted.
The scams usually involve the victim being enticed to send nude or explicit photos to someone who has befriended them online.
Police say a majority of scammers are taking on the persona of “young, attractive women”.
They use platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Skype, Google Hangouts, Snapchat and Tiktok to dupe their victims.
Victims are then blackmailed into sending money, or in some recent incidents, gift cards, in order to prevent the images being distributed to people they know.
What should I do to avoid becoming a sextortion victim?
Advice from police includes:
- Do not accept friend requests if you do not know the person.
- Never send personal photos or money to someone you do not know or have never met.
- Be aware of unusual requests.
- Be sensible when using the internet.
What can sextortion victims do?
- Contact the police immediately.
- Take screenshots of your conversations.
- Deactivate your social media channels.
It was revealed in May that cases of sextortion being taken to the Revenge Porn Helpline have almost doubled within a year.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Five people have been victims of attempted sextortion in Tayside in the last 10 days.
“They ranged in age from 13 to 34 but anyone could fall for the charm of scammers.
“The majority of scammers online take on the persona of young attractive women.
“Don’t be fooled by what they are offering.”