From BBC News September 20, 2013
Hundreds of British children are being blackmailed into performing sex acts online, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has warned.
Abusers posing online as children talk victims into sexual acts or sharing of images, then threaten to send pictures to the child's family and friends.
Daniel Perry, from Dunfermline, Fife, took his own life in the summer after blackmailers demanded thousands of pounds having tricked him into thinking he was chatting with a US girl.
Said Daniel Perry’s mother: “He was a happy laddie, not depressed and the last type of person you would think would take their life”
The apprentice mechanic had been having online conversations with someone he believed to be a girl around his own age.
Just before his death, he was warned by the blackmailers that he would be better off dead if he did not transfer the cash. Less than an hour after replying to the message, he fell from the Forth Road Bridge.
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The biggest case, known as Operation K, involved 322 children around the world being blackmailed, including 96 in the UK.
The victims were mainly boys aged 11 to 15, who were targeted by a gang from a non-European country. The suspects are due to stand trial in the coming weeks.
The gang used more than 40 fake online profiles and more than 40 different email addresses to carry out their abuse.
The network of abuse was exposed after a social networking site noticed suspicious activity and a British child told their parents.
Of all the recent developments involving the internet this is one of the most disturbing.
The perpetrators are usually calculating, computer-savvy men aged between 20 and 44; some act alone, others as part of an organised network. Their motives are more than just sexual - they want control, and in some cases money.
The victims are girls and boys, unwittingly drawn into the paedophiles' net by the possibility of friendship or consensual sexual contact.
Adolescents are particularly vulnerable as it's natural for them to explore their emerging sexuality or engage in risky behaviour - but few can imagine the dangers that may result from their innocent internet chat.