Police have issued a social media blackmail warning to men after a string of blackmail attempts across the country.

The official heads-up from police in Bedfordshire has come over concerns about the dangers of social media and the sharing of indecent images.

They say men have been targeted on Facebook by strangers who send them a friend request on the social media site.

Once they become friends, the victims are then asked to go onto Skype and perform sexual acts.

Those acts are recorded, and the crook then demands money from the victim, threatening to share the video online if they do not pay up.

Det Con Adam Cave of the Beds force said: “As a result of these reports, we’re once again urging everyone to be really careful about what they post online.

“Remember, once something has happened online, it is almost impossible to completely remove it so be careful what you share and who you share it with.

“Not everyone online is who they say they are and it’s easy for people to hide their real intentions, so we’d advise you only speak to people who you know in real life, and never send anything you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with a wider audience.

“Don’t accept friend requests from strangers, and if someone makes you uncomfortable, or if you witness any suspicious behaviour, contact the police immediately.”

If you have information about an online crime, or if you would like to report a crime, you can contact police on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

For more advice on how to stay safe online, visit Bedfordshire Police’s Cybercrime and Online Safety pages