CYBER crime can leave a trail of devastation in its wake.

In 2013, Scottish teenager Daniel Perry took his own life aged just 17 after becoming embroiled in a sextortion scam.

He had been chatting online to someone he thought was a girl his own age – who then demanded money. Police traced the scam back to the Philippines.

Mum Nicola said: “Whoever was at the other end of that computer did not know Daniel. They didn’t care that he was a loving and caring person with his whole life ahead of him. To them, he was just another faceless victim to exploit for cash.”

Det Sgt Ian Magrath stressed that online crime was not victimless.

He said: “The psychological impact is huge. The majority of people who are targeted are sat in their own home.

“There’s a feeling of vulnerability, the fact you can become a victim while you’re going about your day-to-day business.”

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He urged those perpetrating the scams to change their ways.

The detective said: “You’ve got a skill. You’ve clearly got a skill and an ability to use it for better reasons.

“Rather than making people fall victim to your enjoyment and endeavours you could put this to good use by protecting business, individuals, the country.”

The Wiltshire digital unit was working with UTC Swindon to help train the next generation of computer experts able to repel cyber attacks.

The four Swindon college students spend time every month chatting to officers about how to prevent computer crime.