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An investigation exposes those behind the wildly popular apps being "uninterested" and police "useless" in dealing with the cases.

A Sun Online investigation has probed crime data from police forces across the country, revealing the depth of serious crimes linked to apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Match.com - but it's Plenty of Fish which is linked to the most reported crimes.

If hackers sell information to criminals, it could be used to extort users of the site

Asking you for money is blackmail. He has no case.

An FBI agent tells CBS 5 the agency has seen about a dozen reports in Arizona where suspects prey on vulnerable victims. Using their personal information and sexy pictures, the suspect tries to embarrass and blackmail them.

On a variety of sites from Match.com and Craigslist to Christian Mingle and Adult Friend Finder, a lonely heart is the initial target.

Once an online conversation is established, which usually becomes sexual in nature, phone numbers and private pictures are exchanged.

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‘Sextortion’ attacks, where cybercriminals blackmail victims with the threat of exposing explicit photographs or messages are becoming increasingly common, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

The FBI has issued warnings that sextortion is on the rise with attackers using methods including searching stolen computer equipment for explicit imagery, hacking social media accounts and using malware to steal images from computers.

Bloomberg describes one case in which a young mother (name withheld) was driven to suicide, and interviewed a New Hampshire woman whose suffering at the hands of a “sextortionist” left her feeling traumatised two years later.

A Winnipeg man tried to swindle thousands of dollars from two British teachers he convinced to send him nude photographs and videos through an online dating website.

Robert Li, 33, used the naughty material as the basis for his threats, claiming he would reveal them to the victims' schools and colleagues if they didn't meet his financial demands. It's one of the first cases of its kind exposed in Manitoba.

It will take some money to make sure these videos never see the light of day, Li told one of his victims in an email exchange later seized by police.

The crooks, based in Nigeria for the most part, use the swiped images in Internet scams. They try to bilk people looking for love, frequently breaking hearts along the way, adding hurt to monetary injury, reports Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen in part two of her three-part series, "Early on the Case: Stolen Identities."

Koeppen spoke with a man whose picture has become a favorite of online scammers. They claim his image is that of someone whose identity they create for online dating sites. When women looking for love contact the "person," they're eventually asked to send money to help him out. All too often, Koeppen reports, the victims do just that.

She also chatted with two women taken in by such fraud, and an expert on preventing it, then offered suggestions on caution flags that might alert you to such a scheme.

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