RESIDENTS are being urged to be wary of falling victim to a form of webcam blackmail known as 'sextortion'.

The crime involves victims being lured into performing sexual acts in front of their web-cam not realising they are actually being recorded by criminals who then attempt to blackmail the victim with threats of revealing the images.

Since April 2019 there have been 40 Sextortion cases reported to North Wales Police, with victims often targeted through dating apps, social media, webcams or adult pornography sites. While sextortion can be committed by individuals, sometimes ex-partners, organised crime gangs are commonly behind it

CI Gary Kelly said; “We are reminding people to be very careful, especially at this time of year when criminals try to exploit increased internet and social media activity.”

“Remember sometimes the people you meet online aren't who they say they are.”

Victims in north Wales have ranged from 13 to 75 years old, with 60 percent being male.

Anyone who feels they may be experiencing an incident of 'sextortion' is advised to take a screenshot of all communications, suspend - but no delete - social media accounts and report the matter to admins of apps such as Skype and sites such as YouTube.

Call police on 101 to confidentially report an incident.