Officers from Dyfed Powys Police have issued a warning to parents about what their children might be sharing online.

As school holidays draw to a close this week, Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said adults need to be aware of the dangers of their children ‘oversharing’ online – sharing too much information about, or photographs of, themselves - and what they can do if someone asks for or sends explicit photographs.

"Criminals target and befriend their victims, and once they have private or explicit images or video, they attempt to blackmail the victims into sending money or more photos. This is known as ‘sextortion’," he said.

"These criminals rely on people feeling isolated. We are asking parents, carers, guardians and all trusted adults to have a conversation with teenagers so they can turn to you if they are worried about anything they see or do online.

"Teenagers share private photos without understanding that they might be used against them, or shared with others. Sadly, we have seen cases where a young person has been hurt because they didn’t know where to turn for help."

Lessons about online safety are delivered by Schools Community Police Officers across the Dyfed-Powys area, as part of the national SchoolBeat programme. The force’s aim is to make sure young people have plenty of trusted adults to discuss their concerns with.

"We don’t want anyone to feel they are the only person this has happened to, that is far from the truth and we are here to help," added DS Davies.

"It might be difficult, but please try to find a way to talk to them about the dangers of social media.

"Please urge them to stop and think if they receive a friend request from someone they don’t know, it might not be the person they say they are."