Dozens of people have become victim to to sex scams in the Bracknell Forest and Wokingham area since the start of the year, police have said.
Thames Valley Police said they have received 16 reports of sextortion scams which involves a person being blackmailed for money after sharing intimate images of themselves to the fraudster.
Sextortion involves criminals posing with a fake identity to contact people online and lure them in to performing sexual acts in front of their webcams.
This is then recorded or they encourage victims to send sexual images of themselves to them.
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This isn’t the first time the Bracknell News has reported on these sextortion scams.
In February, a woman was scammed into sending a fraudster money following explicit calls online.
It prompted warnings from police about sextortion scams following a rise in reports within the borough.
In July 2020, police sent out a warning regarding a woman who was speaking to a man online, who then demanded a large sum of cash or he will share the photos with everyone in the woman’s personal address book.
But one of the most worrying reports police revealed was a woman who had been chatting to a man on a dating site, who she believed to be a doctor working for the United Nations (UN).
Over the course of several months, she believed they were getting in to deep and meaningful relationship.
However, the man then claimed he needed money from her to pay a ransom to gain his freedom as he had been ‘taken hostage’.
At the time, police said: “The hostage story, is fairly common in these scams, as it means they can ask for much larger sums of money and play on the sympathy of the victim.”
Police have now said: “If you are a victim please come forward so we can support you.
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“Do not pay any money – this can lead to further demands for greater quantities of cash.
“You should contact your internet service provider, deactivate – but do not delete – social media accounts. Take screenshots of your contact with the criminal.
“Report incidents to us via our 24-hour non-emergency number 101 or you can make a report on our website.”
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