Garda probe scary Snapchat sextortion plot as 200 women on ‘list’ over explicit images
- 16:22, 7 Jul 2022
- Updated: 16:22, 7 Jul 2022
GARDAI are probing a possible sextortion case involving approximately 200 women, it has been revealed.
The victims, who are all understood to live in the Wexford area, have found themselves on a ‘list’ by a number of anonymous Snapchat accounts.
The women have been told that the accounts hold their explicit images but a lot of the intended targets have not been asked for cash, it’s believed.
- Instead the perpetrators have told them that they can have their pictures removed in exchange for images of other women, in some cases friends of family members.
It’s understood some of the females were underage when the images were taken.
The majority of the women are aged between 21 and 23 but the age range goes up to about 40.
It’s still unclear if the scheme is the work of one person or a group of individuals but the Gardai are taking it very seriously.
They are urging anyone who suspects they are a victim of image based sexual abuse to report it to their nearest station.
A number of women have already come forward to Gardai after finding themselves on the list, while investigators are trying to contact the remaining ones.
About 50 of the women have been identified so far. Some were unaware that these Snapchat accounts hold personal images of them.
Wexford Sinn Fein councillor Tom Forde says he recognises a number of names on the ‘list’ after he was sent a video of it.
He told the Irish Sun: “I first became aware of this a number of weeks when I was sent a video of this list of names.
“I know several women who have come across this and whose images are being used.
“I know of one girl who got in touch with the account which had been sharing her photos to try and get to the bottom of it and they were seeking other photos, as well as cash but cash doesn’t appear to be a motive in a lot of cases.
“There were a lot of names on this list and a lot of them were known to me. People have come to me since and stated that they were underage at the time these photos were taken.
“In some of these pictures, they still would have been in school at the time. I brought it up at our local committee, which the Gardai have a representative on so they are taking it very seriously.
“It does appear to be very local but 200 is a huge number to be on this list from the Wexford community.
“I’ve asked advice from the gardaí on this and I would stress that anyone who has concerns should contact the garda station immediately and don’t be afraid or embarrassed to come forward.”
In a statement, the Gardaí said: “An Garda Síochána in the Eastern Region is investigating a number of reports concerning the posting, sharing and uploading of personal images online.
The publication and/or sharing of intimate images without consent is a criminal offence. An Garda Síochána fully recognises that the publication of intimate images without the consent of individuals causes great upset and trauma to them.”
They are urging victims to contact them.