The warning has come from Dyfed-Powys Police Cybercrime Team.
Detective Sergeant Rob Gravelle said: “A number of victims have contacted us in the last few weeks reporting that they have been the victim of “sextortion.” The victims have been lured into online video sex chats and then sent compromising footage of themselves with demands for money or their footage would posted on the internet and sent to family and friends.”
Mr Gravelle said offenders often target and befriend their victims on Facebook before moving onto another platform, like Skype, where the activity can be captured.
He added: “Once they have this video they will attempt to blackmail the victims into sending money, usually into an offshore account.
“The best way to prevent these criminals from committing such offences is by not taking part in such activity. The moment you take part you become vulnerable to exploitation by the criminals.”
Police are urging people to take the following steps to avoid falling prey to this type of crime:
- Know who you are inviting or accepting invitations from on social media. Don’t accept friend requests from total strangers
- Ensure that your privacy settings on your social networking accounts are set to only allow friends to view your profile
- Never get lured into anything in front of your webcam. Always remember that what goes online may stay online
- If you do become a victim to this type of scam, do not respond to the blackmailer’s demands, but report the issue to the police and the relevant social networking site.