Over 200 young women may be caught up in a mass revenge porn scheme under investigation in County Wexford.
Gardaí are attempting to contact the women who may have had their intimate images shared on an anonymous Snapchat account without their consent.
Around 50 women have been identified so far – and Gardaí believe a number of them were underage when the pictures were taken.
The anonymous account has published a list of women it claims to have personal images of.
While Gardaí are not aware of any attempt to extort money from the women, some have been told they could get their images removed in exchange for images of other women.
Wexford People Journalist Padraig Byrne told Newstalk that Gardaí are investigating whether the scam is the work of one man or a group.
“There doesn’t seem to have been any attempt on behalf of this account holder to extort any money from these women or anything like that,” he said
“I have encountered a couple of people who have kind of hinted that women involved were told that if they wanted their photos taken down from this account, they would have to provide photos of friends or things like that – which is quite sinister in itself.”
Gardaí are encouraging anyone who believes their images may have been stolen to come forward.
Mr Byrne said there is more than one Snapchat account involved.
“Gardaí are aware of a number of accounts - there are more than one - but it seems like, in the majority of cases, it could be photos that were shared with a partner or a boyfriend at the time that were subsequently leaked or passed on or shared in WhatsApp groups,” he said.
“They have somehow found their way into these people’s hands and are now being shared on this anonymous page.”
Wexford Councillor Tom Forde told Newstalk he was sent a screen-recorded video of the list.
“I have been contacted by a number of women that were actually on that list,” he said.
“I was also sent a video with a list of names - approximately 200 women - that apparently held detailed folders of the sensitive images these accounts have on these women.
“I suppose a lot of these women are from the local area so the names would be very familiar.”
In a statement, Gardaí said they are “investigating a number of reports concerning the posting, sharing and uploading of personal images online”.
“The publication and/or sharing of intimate images without consent is a criminal offence,” they said.
“An Garda Síochána fully recognises that the publication of intimate images without the consent of individuals causes great upset and trauma to them.”
Gardaí urged anyone “who is concerned they have been a victim following the uploading of personal explicit imagery online without their consent” to contact them.
Additional reporting Michael Staines and Tom Douglas.