Cork gardai are warning people to be careful on dating websites or apps due to a recent increase in blackmailing.
In recent months Gardai are aware of multiple cases in North Cork where people connect with someone on a dating app or website, then the person they believe they are connecting with asks for photos of them in compromising positions.
After the photos are sent, the blackmailing starts. Those who have sent the photos are then asked for a sum of money, in one case the amount was €10,000.
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If the money is not sent, there is a threat to send the photos to the person’s contacts.
Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show was Sergeant John Kelly of Fermoy Garda Station, who is urging anyone who finds themselves falling victim to this scam to come forward for help.
“We’ve two ongoing investigations in Mallow, and we had one last year in Fermoy. We’re probably not aware of the full amount of them that are happening,” he said.
He added that it affects young and middle-aged people particularly, and mentioned Tinder as one of the dating apps that are used by scammers to blackmail.
“They’re being lured in by profiles, fake profiles, but they think they’re corresponding with a flesh and blood person. These fake profiles are created for the purpose of harvesting money, which they’ll do by means of blackmail.”
He urged the public to get in touch with their local garda station if they find themselves at the centre of such an incident.
“Please come forward, we will give any assistance that we can.”