Sex online through a web cam
It includes a film aimed at the most vulnerable victims, helping them to recognise a potential criminal approach and providing online advice, including the importance of reporting the crime to their local police.
The National Crime Agency said the victims are aged between 14 and 82, with the highest proportion being men aged between 21 and 30, and with a substantial proportion in the 11-20 age group.
It also added that the groups identified were working out of Morocco, the Philippines and the Ivory Coast.
To get that, right click on their profile, select ‘View Profile’ and then look for the name shown in blue rather than the one above it in black.
It'll be next to the word ’Skype’ and will have no spaces in it. Other ways to protect yourself online include not posting any personal information, such as you address, email address or mobile number on the internet.
In a similar scheme, but usually not with the aim of blackmail, "catfishing" is where an online user is tricked by another who pretends to be someone they are not in order to befriend, fool or entice.
The number of people reporting financially-motivated cyber enabled blackmails more than doubled from 385 in 2015 to 864 up to November 2016, police said. Four young men in the UK have killed themselves in the last year after being blackmailed by one of the cyber gangs.
Preserve evidence: Make a note of all details provided by the offenders, for example; the Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), the Facebook URL; the Western Union or Money Gram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN); any photos/videos that were sent, etc.
Be aware that the scammer's Skype name is different to their Skype ID, and it's the ID details that police will need.
Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online - using websites such as Facebook, Skype or Linkedin - before persuading them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam.
The gangs, based in Morocco, the Philippines and the Ivory Coast, use "honey trap" actors to lure their victims in and record the images before threatening to share them with the victims' friends and family unless they accede to their demands for payment.