Blackmailers are targeting Irish people on dating apps
Gardaí have warned the public to be alert for scams and blackmailers on dating apps and websites.
It comes following multiple reports of attempted blackmail on dating apps over the past number of months.
Speaking this morning to Patricia Messinger on C103's Cork Today Show, Sergeant John Kelly of Fermoy Garda Station said the victims were connecting with what they believed were real profiles on the dating apps.
"It could be young people, in some cases it's people of middle age," Sergeant Kelly said.
"They're going onto websites, such as Tinder or any of those dating websites and they're being lured in by profiles, fake profiles.
"They think they're corresponding with a flesh and blood person, a real person, but these are fake profiles created for the purpose of harvesting money.
"They do it by means of blackmail."
After a period of time, the person they've connected with asks for photos of them, some of which are in compromising positions.
Once they receive the photos, the scammers then threaten to post the photos online or to family members unless a sum of money is paid.
Sergeant Kelly said in one instance reported last year, the sum requested was €10,000. He cautioned the public to be conscious that these type of scams are out there and some are going unreported.
"Just be aware of this and I'm sure we're not aware of the full amount that's happening in this regard," Sergeant Kelly said.