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Police are warning internet users to be on their guard against ‘sextortion’.
The practice sees a victim being lured by another person online into undressing and sometimes performing intimate acts in front of a webcam.
But the footage is recorded and the victims are blackmailed into paying what can be a substantial amount of money or threatened with the footage being posted online.
Police in Newcastle said they have received a number of reports of it in the city and are urging people to be on their guard against it.
Chief Inspector Darren Adams said: “Always remember, what goes online can stay online – even if something is deleted from one site, others may have copied and shared it across the internet. Our advice would be don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t ever do in public or want to be seen in public.”