Devon

Teen held on suspicion of blackmail over fake Facebook account

Hands on a keyboard Image copyright PA
Image caption Officers are urging pupils not to accept friend requests from people they do not know

Police investigating a fake Facebook account targeting young girls in south Devon have arrested a teenager on suspicion of blackmail.

The arrest came after school pupils were allegedly asked to send photos of themselves to the account.

A police spokesman said a 17-year-old from Dartmouth had been arrested on suspicion of blackmail.

He said the suspect had been released on police bail pending further inquiries until 30 January.

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Police said about 100 girls from Dartmouth College, South Devon High School, King Edward VI Community College and Kingsbridge Community College had been targeted.

Officers are urging pupils not to accept friend requests from people they do not know.

Block people

Facebook has its own guidelines on how to avoid online blackmail.

On its website it says: "If someone is threatening to share things you want to keep private (ex: messages, images, videos) or is asking you to send them money, please use this form to tell us more.

"You should also report this directly to your local law enforcement agency."

It adds that users can also block blackmailers but the "safest thing is never share something you wouldn't want other people seeing".

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