New Zealand Police warn about rise in sextortion cases involving young victims

New Zealand Police are warning of increasing incidents of ‘sextortion’ where local young people are targeted by offshore offenders.

“This is a global issue where offshore offenders target young victims by tricking them into sending sexually explicit content before blackmailing them with threats to share the content with friends and family unless they pay,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Jodie Lyons.

“While we first started to see this in New Zealand in late 2021, instances of local young victims continue to rise.

“In one very recent incident, a New Zealand teenager could not pay the money he was being blackmailed into sending and the images were shared publicly by the offender.”

The offending generally begins with a direct message sent to the victim on social media.

The victim is then asked to continue chatting on a different app, and the conversation often becomes highly sexualised.

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