Gardaí have said investigations are underway into a series of violent robberies and attacks “on sex workers primarily in the Dublin area”.
Since mid-October, about seven such assaults have taken place, targeting those who offer services online.
“The motive for these attacks appears to be monetary gain, although violence has been used and they have been terrifying incidents for the injured parties (female and male) involved,” gardaí said in a statement.
“On each occasion an online appointment is made, but when the ‘client’ arrives the sex worker is attacked and robbed by a number of males.”
Investigators are working closely with the injured parties involved and treating the victims with “the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality”.
Detectives attached to Operation Quest - which focuses on securing convictions against individuals involved in organising prostitution - at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau are liaising with local units.
They have issued an appeal to others who may have been subject to a similar attack to immediately report the incident.
“You will be treated confidentially with compassion and sensitivity.”
They have also appealed to anyone with information to contact them to help stop “these dangerous attackers”.
An Garda Síochána can be contacted via the Garda Confidential Number 1800 666 111 or any station.