GARDAI has reported an upsurge in blackmail cases, including two involving compromising films and photographs threatening to be posted online.
“Blackmail is usually for money, not retribution. In both cases, users shared compromising photographs with strangers online. “You lose control of a photograph once it is posted online,” said divisional crime prevention officer Sergeant Ber Leetch.
In one case, a young guy from Limerick’s Mayorstone district was blackmailed with a compromising video being sent to all of his connections via social media.
In a panic, he paid the $1,000 (€1,000) but it didn’t end there. Demands for more money increased till he called Gardai. Then he was told to cancel all his online accounts and change his phone number.
A man in his forties who had built an online sexual contact with a woman is also being investigated.
In the event he did not pay, she threatened to post the videos on Facebook. “He refused to pay and had to deactivate all his online accounts and change his phone number,” said Sgt Leetch.
No money should be paid and the incident should be reported to gardai “sensitively and confidentially”.