Police warn of increasing 'sextortion' crimes after four men committed suicide

Four men committed suicide as a result of increasing 'sextortion' crimes

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Four men killed themselves in the last year after being blackmailed as part of an increasingly prevalent cyber "sextortion" racket.

The National Crime Agency has warned International gangs of organised criminals are targeting increasing numbers of young men by luring them into potentially compromising positions. 

Sextortion is a form of blackmail - criminals create fake identities using websites such as Facebook or Skype, befriend their targets, and persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam.

These images are secretly recorded and then used to blackmail the victims by threatening to share them with their family and friends unless payment is made. 

National Police Chiefs Council Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said: "It is in response to a really worrying emerging threat in terms of what we call sextortion.

"The really key point is that as a result of this criminality, we have had four young men in the United Kingdom who have killed themselves - taken their own lives - because they saw no way out of a situation that they had gotten into.

"Firstly, we are providing information to police forces to better equip them to deal with these crimes when they are reported.

"Perhaps more important is a public awareness campaign to make not only potential victims, but all those around them - friends of potential victims, family members of potential victims - really raise awareness to what is a very damaging and invidious crime."