An image-based sex abuse scam is targeting secondary school students in Ireland 4 months ago

An image-based sex abuse scam is targeting secondary school students in Ireland

Be careful.

The Gardaí have sent out a warning to parents of a new "sextortion" scam that has been targeting secondary school students.

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The issues involves cyber criminals targeting individuals and getting them to share an explicit picture with them.

These online criminals then threaten to share the images on the internet, a form of image-based sexual abuse, unless the person pays them a certain amount of money.

Speaking on Newstalk, Garda crime prevention officer Michael Walsh said that once the person pays the money, they are then harassed more and more for more payments.

"For anybody who might find themselves in this position, the first thing to do would be to contact An Garda Síochána," he said.

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"We have dedicated cybercrime units now who deal with a lot of this type of crime or any type of fraud or scams.

"So that should be your first port of call.

"The next advice I'd give to anybody is do not pay a ransom.

"It's down that slippy slope of 'where do I stop?' And if you take the bait once you are going to be targeted again.

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"Don't pay the ransom, stop engaging with these people, don't text back, don't communicate back to them, report it to the Gardaí."

Sharing a non-consensual image of this nature of someone else can lead to seven years in prison under new legislation.