AdReport Online Blackmail. % Privacy. Mitigation In 24h. Expert Advice & Service. We Can Help You Fight Back. Don't Hesitate. Act Now. Stop Being Blackmailed Today 2 days ago · Police are urging anyone who is a victim of a sextortion scam call them at or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at CBC's Journalistic · A growing number of online sex scams require victims to pay the perpetrator in Bitcoin, an unregulated currency with a high degree of anonymity. But the demand to pay is · Sextortion occurs entirely online; unlike other forms of sexual violence and harassment, it is a non-physical form of coercion. However, the effects of sextortion are still AdAvoid Romance Scams and Fake Online Profiles. Expert Dating Investigations. Professional Dating Background Checks, Real InvestigationsFree Quote · BBB A+ Rating · Confidential Services · Discreet PI’sServices: Background Checks, Dating Background Checks, Employment Screening ... read more
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Already have an account? OPP, experts issue warning around rise in 'sextortion' scam incidents CBC News Loaded. Social Sharing. So, how can we protect ourselves from sextortion? Sextortion is a form of cyberbullying that entails the posting of explicit images.
Often, the perpetrators will approach the victim on social media sites, such as Facebook or Instagram, and use threats, deception and money to entice them into posting the photos or videos. They will approach the victim by sending friend requests or likes to their profile. Eventually, the victim will end up having to pay the perpetrator to stop the harassing activities.
To prevent this, victims should update their passwords every three to six months. Sextortion victims should also set their social media accounts to private or increase the security settings of their accounts.
Unlike traditional blackmail, online sextortion is often anonymous and can be difficult to catch. It is also important to be proactive in reporting sextortion cases. Most victims of this crime reported that they were initially contacted through a dating website or app. Eventually, the perpetrator would try to move the interaction to another social media site.
A growing number of online sex scams require victims to pay the perpetrator in Bitcoin, an unregulated currency with a high degree of anonymity. But the demand to pay is often a bluff. In a recent live video blog posted by cybersecurity firm Sophos, computer security expert Paul Ducklin warned people to watch out for these scams.
While it is very tempting to pay the sextortionist to keep your intimate content private, it is crucial that you remain calm. As a result, many victims will agree to pay any amount of money to avoid the potential embarrassment and reputational damage of being exposed.
For this reason, some sextortionists may threaten to post the content on pornographic websites and YouTube. You can protect yourself from these scammers by doing some research before you make any commitments. One way is to perform a reverse image search of the profile photo used by the sextortionist.
If the person has more than one profile using the same photo, this could indicate other profiles, websites, or users. Some of these scammers are sophisticated enough to obtain details about your business or social connections. The aim is to make you afraid of the Internet by threatening to release intimate pictures. You can take steps to protect yourself and protect your reputation by cutting off contact with the sextortionist.
In some cases, this might even mean releasing the content yourself. There is no need to risk being the victim of a scam!
A recent ABC7 Denver report highlighted a case of a teenager who was a victim of sextortion. Unlike other forms of harassment, extortionists do not need to meet in person before threatening you. They can use the internet to send you sexually explicit images and messages. However, if you do decide to meet a sextortionist, you should have the appropriate legal advice. The following are some tips for victims. First, make sure the person is not a stranger.
Online sextortionists can pose as strangers or be former significant others. They may use private pictures or videos to lure the victim into paying them ransom. They may also threaten to release intimate photos or videos unless you give them money. If you suspect that someone is committing online sextortion , you should run a reverse image search on the photo of the profile.
If you have a gut feeling that they may be a stranger, do not accept their friend request. In addition to taking precautionary measures, it is important to remember that everything you do online and on apps can be recorded or hacked. Therefore, you must think before sending explicit photos to anyone. Moreover, you should be very careful about opening any unknown email attachments.
These devices might be used to upload more photos of you, which may be used as evidence during litigation.
This page has been peer-reviewed, fact-checked, and edited by multiple qualified attorneys and legal professionals to ensure substantive accuracy and coverage. Our publication process is robust, following a step content creation and review process. Has a stranger you met on the internet threatened to release intimate images of you if you do not pay them money or meet some other demand?
If so, you are the victim of an attempted sextortion scam. We recommend the following steps to spot and avoid sextortion scams on the internet:. At Minc Law, we have helped hundreds of clients prevent the release of their intimate images and media while avoiding drawing unwanted attention to their sextortion matter. We know what it takes to help individuals secure their reputation against potential sextortionists, remove harmful content from the internet should the sextortionist release the intimate content , and resolve sextortion attacks quickly with minimal damage.
In this article, we explain what sextortion is and how it differs from other forms of extortion. Then, we provide practical tips for protecting yourself against sextortion, how to respond to a sextortionist, and how to spot sextortion red flags. We then explain how to report sextortion attempts—and why you need an experienced internet attorney on your side. Sextortion is the crime of threatening to publish explicit information or material about a victim to others if they do not give in to certain demands by the perpetrator.
While it is common for sextortionists to demand money, they may also ask for more sensitive images or even sexual favors. If you are being targeted by a sextortionist, their primary goal is to intimidate you into paying them in exchange for not publishing your intimate videos, photos, or media.
They want to use your fear—especially that your colleagues, friends, and family members will see your sensitive images—against you. Commonly, sextortion takes place on social media sites and dating websites or apps. Sextortion also frequently occurs over sexting and SMS text messages, or even through email.
We examine these examples in greater detail below. All forms of extortion involve using threats to motivate the victim to take an action. The difference is that other extortion schemes, while still potentially embarrassing for the victim, involve non-sexual information or media.
An extortionist is only committing sextortion if they make threats to reveal intimate images or media if their demands are not met. Sextortion is a burgeoning issue in the United States and across the globe. According to a Internet Crime Report by the FBI, the IC3 received more than 18, sextortion-related complaints in , with victims losing over Sextortion occurs entirely online; unlike other forms of sexual violence and harassment, it is a non-physical form of coercion.
However, the effects of sextortion are still very real. The embarrassment and shame over potential fallout can lead sextortion victims to suffer from anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of self-harm. Another unique factor is that with sextortion, the perpetrator is typically on the other side of the world. At Minc Law, we have found that most sextortion scammers operate out of the following countries:.
Sextortionists typically do not have any physical connection or geographic similarity to the victim. This anonymity is an aggravating factor and cause of ongoing stress for sextortion victims.
Not knowing who or where the perpetrator is can lead to uncertainty and additional trauma. For further reading on sextortion scams across the world, please check out this comprehensive resource explaining what to do if you are the target of a Philippine sextortion scam. Sextortion can also have devastating effects if not handled swiftly and effectively.
Victims of sextortion can experience both mental and physical effects. Further, victims can feel compelled to take rash and drastic actions such as draining their bank accounts to try to pay off the sextortionist, which will only make matters worse. Once you have been sextorted, it is fairly obvious—but identifying sextortion before it happens can take a little more diligence. Sextortion scams can be fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for, and there are many steps you can take to protect yourself against sextortion.
Protecting yourself against sextortion starts with understanding how to spot common sextortion scams. Most sextortionists use the same process to snare their victims.
They usually start by reaching out to a stranger online via one of these platforms:. The sextortionist often begins the conversation with friendly chit-chat. Then, the sextortionist turns the conversation in a sexually suggestive direction—and they may even send you what appear to be intimate photos or videos of themselves but these images are usually fake or pre-recorded. In return, the sextortionist invites you to send intimate images of your own.
Once you do, the conversation turns threatening. The sextortionist will then demand payment through familiar channels like Western-Union , bitcoin , Venmo , PayPal , or even gift cards. Once you learn the red flags associated with potential sextortion scams, be sure to follow the practical tips below to protect your privacy even in less dangerous situations.
The internet can be a dangerous place, and you need your wits about yourself when interacting with strangers. Avoid getting into conversations with strangers online when you are not in your best frame of mind, such as when you have had a few drinks or when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable due to a recent breakup. Sextortionists often send unsolicited sexual images in the hopes that you will let your guard down. Even when not considering the risk of sextortion, it is a good rule of thumb to keep your social accounts as private as possible.
Review your social media privacy settings to manage exactly what appears on your profile, who can view your posts, and who can tag you. Also, try to limit the personal information you share online to begin with. Remember that the more you share about your life, the more material scammers can use to trick you. But if your brand-new connection asks to move to another platform like WhatsApp, FaceTime, or your private cell phone, that should be a red flag.
They may be intending to record your interactions for sextortion purposes. This is another good rule of thumb for protecting yourself against more than sextortion attempts. Attachments can contain viruses and malware, which scammers can use to gather information about you or even hack your webcam. To be safe, make it a habit to turn off your devices and webcams when you are not using them.
You may even want to cover your webcams with tape or a privacy shutter when not in use. Of course, the best way to protect yourself against sextortion is to never send compromising images or videos of yourself online or via text message—no matter how close you are to them. Minc Law Privacy Tip: It is not practical for everyone to completely avoid sending intimate images online.
In that case, a good compromise would be to use a pseudonym when you are on dating sites. Concealing your identity when interacting with new people—at least at first—can help protect your privacy against potential scammers. If you are the target of sextortion, we recommend following the steps below to deal with it quickly and effectively. Being harassed and extorted online can be a terrifying experience. But your first step should be to pause, take a deep breath, and consider your situation with a cooler head.
Engaging with a sextortionist often only makes matters worse. If you pay them, they will often come back with another demand for more money.
Sextortionists operate in the hope that you will panic and give them what they want immediately. But if you do not engage with the perpetrator, it often removes the power dynamic at play. If you have been the target of a sextortion attempt, take action immediately to preserve all evidence. Confronting your extortionist effectively would be easiest if you knew their real name and contact information.
But since most sextortionists know how to mask their identifying data, you should focus on gathering as much information as possible, including:.
Next, make sure all of your online accounts are turned to the most private settings possible. If you have any public profiles you do not use, disable them right away.
Refrain from accepting any friend requests from strangers on all of your accounts. It is understandable to be horrified at the idea of your friends, family, and coworkers seeing the compromising images held by the sextortionist.
But regardless, resist the urge to pay the ransom or try to mitigate the damage right away. Do not assume that the scammer will follow through on their threats. Acting too hastily may make matters worse, giving the sextortionist more power over you. Unless you are willing to cooperate with a sextortionist for the foreseeable future, it is unwise to start down the road of giving them what they want.
The earlier you seek legal help to confront the scammer, the better. While reporting accounts is not always successful, you should do everything you can to ensure the scammer is deplatformed and unable to harass other victims.
Minc Law Social Media Tip: Facebook is one of the most widely used social media sites in the world. If you are being extorted or harassed online, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your digital footprint as a whole. You should be on the lookout for subsequent attacks, mentions, and content. The easiest way to monitor your online reputation is to set up a free Google Alerts account that will send you an alert anytime your name or the keyword of your choice is mentioned anywhere online.
Digital risk protection DRP services are another extensive way to track your online reputation. DRP services use a combination of methods and tools to evaluate, monitor, and protect against your digital risk. Online extortion, blackmail, and sextortion can be very complex and nuanced legal areas. These crimes often fall under state jurisdictions—and each state has its respective statutes, which often do not include sextortion specifically. That is why it is best to reach out to an experienced internet attorney if you are a victim of a sextortion attempt.
A lawyer with experience dealing with sextortion cases can save you a great deal of time and worry by effectively removing defamatory content and having it de-indexed from Google search results. They know how to work with relevant law enforcement agencies to hold scammers liable for their illegal behavior—without drawing more attention to the matter than necessary. Point them instead to the proper channels where they can report sextortion. There are several agencies, at the national and local levels, that handle cybercrime and related issues, including:.
You can also point them to these resources that provide helpful information on dealing with sextortion scams:. As mentioned above, the most common sextortion scenario involves reaching out to the victim on social media or dating sites, then luring them into sexual behavior.
The sextortionist then uses recordings of that behavior to extort the victim into paying money or meeting some other demand. Below, we take a closer look at specific examples of sextortion on various platforms, along with how to spot a sextortion scam.
AdAvoid Romance Scams and Fake Online Profiles. Expert Dating Investigations. Professional Dating Background Checks, Real InvestigationsFree Quote · BBB A+ Rating · Confidential Services · Discreet PI’sServices: Background Checks, Dating Background Checks, Employment Screening · Sextortion occurs entirely online; unlike other forms of sexual violence and harassment, it is a non-physical form of coercion. However, the effects of sextortion are still 2 days ago · Police are urging anyone who is a victim of a sextortion scam call them at or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at CBC's Journalistic AdReport Online Blackmail. % Privacy. Mitigation In 24h. Expert Advice & Service. We Can Help You Fight Back. Don't Hesitate. Act Now. Stop Being Blackmailed Today · A growing number of online sex scams require victims to pay the perpetrator in Bitcoin, an unregulated currency with a high degree of anonymity. But the demand to pay is ... read more
Furthermore, you should also be cautious about accepting friend requests from strangers. If you are in Australia, you can make an image-based report to the eSafety commissioner. Sextortion victims should also set their social media accounts to private or increase the security settings of their accounts. Fortunately, many victims have already found a way to protect themselves. Sextortion is the crime of threatening to publish explicit information or material about a victim to others if they do not give in to certain demands by the perpetrator. They usually start by reaching out to a stranger online via one of these platforms: Social media, Dating apps, SMS texting, or Email.Kenneth Rapoza. Simply owning a profile on platforms like OkCupid, GrindrTinder, and Hinge can open you up to exploitation and in online dating sextortion and scams manipulation. This site should give you a good idea of which provider hosts the email address. Sextortion is a crime in the United States. Victims are often found on social media sites Sextortion is a form of cyberbullying that entails the posting of explicit images. are prosecuted under the following criminal statutes:. In this article, we provide an in-depth overview of sextortion and what it includes.