SCAMMERS are threatening to share explicit pictures and videos of their victims online prompting police to issue a 'scam alert'.

Gloucestershire police issued the alert yesterday (September 30) after receiving a number of reports of phishing emails which threatened to share sexual videos or pictures of the recipients unless an amount of money was paid in bitcoin.

The alert is part of the police force's response to the rising cases of 'sextortion' in the county.

Sextortion is when someone threatens to share sexual pictures or videos of a victim, unless those targeted to what the criminals ask of them.

According to the police it can come in many forms including webcam blackmail - where offenders meet victims online using a fake identity, and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam.

Those images are then recorded by the offenders, who threaten to share the images with the victim’s friends and family unless a payment is made or further images are shared.

Both men and women can be victims of this.

Similarly it is also considered sextortion if someone the victim knows is threatening to publish images or videos shared via sexting, or from a previous relationship - often demanding more pictures or sex.

Theses type of crime can have a terrible effect on victims, but police are keen to let the public know that there is a lot of help and support available.

For more advice and to report a crime search for Action Fraud online or visit the police website via