Internet users in the borough are being warned to be on their guard against online exploitation after a series of unusual incidents.
Across the country there have been a number of incidents where people are persuaded to perform sex acts via web cams that put them into compromising positions.
Following the incident they give their ‘internet contact’ access to their online account details and are then told, or shown, that the incident has been recorded.
Once this has happened, demands for cash are made under threat that the recordings will be posted on online forums and social network sites.
Five incidents of this nature have taken place in the Northumbria Police area over recent weeks.
Detective Superintendent Steve Howes said: “While there has been only a small number of these type of incidents, they can be highly distressing for those involved. The victims are being asked for significant amounts of money or threatened with having personal images of themselves posted online.
“It’s thought the scammers may be generally operating from overseas making it difficult for the police to take action and are using a variety of chat rooms to “befriend” people.
“Computer users should only reveal personal details if they are 100% sure who they are talking to.”
Visit www.northumbria.police.uk/onlinefraud for more information.