Police have warned people not to become a victim of sordid online blackmail and extortion, after a recent increase in the number of reported Tayside incidents.
Blackmailers have lured victims into online video sex chats which have been recorded. Money is then demanded, accompanied by threats to publish images or video if payment is not made.
Detective Chief Inspector Bobby Dow said: “Blackmail and extortion are common ways for hackers to make money out of their victims and anyone threatened with online blackmail should never comply with it.
“The offenders are, in most cases, in a different country but target victims by adding them as a friend on social media sites.
“These are people who want to exploit others and intimidate them into parting with their money. If you pay, you still have no guarantee that the footage will be destroyed.
“Once you have put images of yourself out there, online, you can never get them back.”
Online safety advice includes keeping phones, laptops or tablets secure by using a password or PIN, blocking people who send offensive messages and avoiding opening links or attachments from unknown people.
Police have said people should never do anything online that they would not do face to face with someone.
A force spokesperson added: “Sexting is never a good idea. Once images have been taken and sent to others, control is lost of them and they can end up anywhere.
“If you wouldn’t print and pass these images around your school, work or family members then don’t share by phone.”