Police are encouraging people to exercise caution when conducting themselves online.
Anyone using dating sites and apps needs to be very careful when developing relationships online, says Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniel.
He says it’s extremely difficult to permanently delete something from the internet.
“Once you have pushed send you no longer have control of what happens with the image or information you have shared.”
Police encourages people not to take personal photographs of themselves or recordings of compromising activities.
“Once these images are obtained, a scammer may attempt to extort money by threatening to release these images into the public arena and to their family, friends or employer.”
Stephen says scammers are organised criminals - they do everything they can to appear legitimate.
This includes using fake identities, pictures they find on the internet and stories that have worked for them before to gain something from a person.
“Unfortunately this is a problem that is not going to go away and people need to be vigilant when conducting their business online.
“Online scams can be sophisticated and well-planned, and Police receives scam reports from people of all ages and backgrounds.”
Prevention is key :
-never share a photo of yourself that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see.
-never respond to a request for money or financial information via an online dating app or website.
“If you receive an email that appears to be from a bank, government organisation or other agency but you are unsure of its authenticity, phone them to check if the email is legitimate.
-don’t allow location settings or identify your home address when using online dating apps or websites.
“Check your privacy settings online to ensure your address, full name, work place etc are not available.”
Anyone who believes they are a victim of any crime, in person or online, should report the matter to their local Police.
Netsafe also provides helpful advice and information on their website.