POLICE in Newry, Mourne and Down have issued a warning to “lads” in the district to be wary of online friend requests from “random ladies with a penchant for loose and disintegrating clothing”.
Writing on social media, police said there has been a “big upsurge in recent weeks of blokes being caught" out by such scams.
They say “blokes” continue to be caught in the “classic blackmail honeytrap” and this is “despite the campaigns, the glossy literature and all the warnings".
Continuing, police said: “Here’s a guarantee from us, if you get a random friend request from a female who appears local, then shortly after starts getting hot and heavy in the chat with a few videos thrown in, then you are slap bang in the middle of being scammed and blackmailed.”
They then outlined the “tried and tested routine” employed by would-be blackmailers:
“You accept the friend request,
‘she’ starts the chat,
quickly turns sexual,
you get sent a few videos allegedly from her,
you send similar back...
BOOM! They’ve got you.”
And they say “the second you send that video of yourself to your brand new best friend you didn’t know five minutes ago then the blackmail starts”.
Police warn that, along with the pictures of your mates, family and work details they then send you, which they have taken from your various online profiles, they will include demands for money.
And they say that if you pay it, a few days later more demands will arrive, creating a “downward spiral”.
However, police say that if you fall victim to this it is “not the end of the world”, but encourage you to contact them immediately and don't pay any money to anyone.
And they say the best solution is to remain clothed and don’t send any videos and have encouraged men to pass the same message on to your friends.
Police conclude: “These attempted blackmails are constant so make sure your mates are aware of them too. Don’t get caught out!”