Sex blackmail scams target all ages, says former detective inspector

'Sextortion targets a disturbing range of ages', says former detective inspector

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A former detective has warned that anyone can become a victim of 'sextortion' because it targets "a wide range of all ages".

The National Crime Agency warned against the rise of sextortion, a form of blackmail where gangs of organised criminals create fake identities on social media and other websites in order to befriend their targets. 

They persuade them to perform sexual acts on a webcam, before blackmailing them with the footage by threatening to realise it online unless money is paid.

Neil Harris, a former Detective Inspector from the West Midlands Police Force, had key advice for any vulnerable people who could be at risk.

"There's a wide range of all ages, and it's very disturbing," he told Paul Ross. "The vast majority is 11 to 14-year-olds who are targeted. 

"A lot of people tend to be operating from outside of the UK, and they're asking people to send money out of the country by different methods. 

"By doing this, they think they can escape law enforcement, but the National Crime Agency have a global reach and can bring these people to justice.

"It's very important if you notice any sort of strange behaviour, then try and get over your own embarrassment and support whomever it is going through this."