Seven people have been arrested in Cumbria as part of an investigation into blackmail over missing pets.
It follows reports that people whose animals have gone missing were targeted via social media with demands for money.
Cumbria Police said it had identified 21 victims across 15 force areas.
Four men and three women, all from Barrow-in-Furness, are being held on suspicion of conspiring to commit blackmail and money laundering.
The men are aged 19, 22, 30 and 37 and women are 36, 38 and 40.
Police said in a statement: "As part of an ongoing operation into the exploitation of missing animals, police have today arrested seven people.
"Victims to the blackmail have included persons across UK and in Cumbria."