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Attempts made to blackmail young males lured into intimate activity after fake friend requests

'The young males are told they have to pay cash or their photos or videos they shared during the call will be sent to family members'

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Police in Newry and Mourne are again warning people not to accept friend requests from strangers on social media after fresh reports of attempts being made to blackmail young males in the area.

A number of people have come forward after they were approached by “what appears to be females” on their Facebook accounts.

Police have again reminded people to be wary – and not to be afraid to contact them if they have fallen for the trap.

A PSNI spokesperson explained the ruse usually starts with a friend request and added: “This then continues to a conversation which will include sexual content and then a video call or messages via Facebook messenger. This will then progress until the call terminates and then the young males are told they have to pay cash or their photos or videos they shared during the call will be sent to family members.”

The spokesperson said people should never accept friend requests and should make sure their privacy settings are secure.

The spokesperson also urged people to come forward if they have been contacted and have found themselves in difficult.

They urged: “If you have been a victim of this type of approach, give us a ring on 101 and report it! Let’s see how they like to chat to police instead or get their accounts closed down!

“Please don’t be embarrassed or worried about giving us a ring….. believe me there’s nothing we haven’t heard before or can’t do our very best to sort out!”

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