A teenage boy has been charged with a number of sextortion and blackmail offences after a month-long investigation.
The 17-year-old was charged with attempting to gather sex abuse material and police allege the boy was talking to at least five further victims "in an attempt to sextort them".
The Wollongong boy was initially arrested on October 19 and charged with blackmailing a 16-year-old girl as well as threatening to record or distribute intimate images and sending child abuse material.
He was again arrested on November 22 and police charged the boy with offences including soliciting child abuse material and demanding with menace with the intention to gain.
Detective superintendent Matthew Craft said sextortion involved offenders requesting sexual images via the internet and using them to profit financially or through coercive sexual favours.
Sextortion attempts were increasing in Australia as part of a global trend, he said.
"While it's a scary and sometimes embarrassing predicament to find yourself in; we want victims to know there are options available to them and police have powers to take action against alleged offenders," he said.
The 17-year-old faces court on November 28, 2023 and January 24, 2024.
Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.
Support is available for those who may be distressed:
- Phone Lifeline 13 11 14
- Men's Referral Service 1300 776 491
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
- beyondblue 1300 224 636
- 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732