Parents are being warned by the police after they have received concerning reports involving teenage boys being blackmailed on social media.
Cleveland Police issued the warning to parents asking them to be vigilant over the sextortion which is where criminals trick victims into sexual acts online and then blackmail them.
The Cleveland Paedophile Online Investigation Team said they believed those responsible are based abroad.
The force said anyone concerned should contact police.
Det Sgt Kevin Carter said: “The threats and demands made in cases like these can be distressing and we are working closely with partners to respond to these reports and safeguard those at risk.
“I would ask children, parents, carers, and safeguarding leads to be extra vigilant, and I encourage anyone with concerns to contact Cleveland Police.”