POLICIA NACIONAL officers have arrested five Elche area teenagers aged 16 and 17 for sexual blackmail.

They allegedly threatened minors via social media, saying they would release photos of a sexual nature of their victims if they failed to send them money.

An investigation started when one girl reported the group of two males and three females to police.

Their modus operandi was to create false profiles on social media and start grooming their chosen victims.

Having gained the youngsters’ confidence they would solicit sexual photos from the victim. 

Once they complied, the victims would begin to receive threatening messages from a member of the group demanding money in exchange for the photos to remain private.

All those detained are Spanish and were released on bail. 

The Policia Nacional have emphasised the importance of teaching children how to use the internet and social media responsibly, as this could help them avoid becoming victims of cybercrimes such as ‘grooming’ or ‘sextortion’.

They also stated the importance of keeping photos private.

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