Sextortion can take different forms, but it often involves victims being lured into performing sexual acts to someone they have met online, over a webcam, without releasing they are being recorded by criminals.
After the interaction fraudsters will attempt to extort money from their victim by threatening to share a video or photos of the sexual act online or via a message to their family and friends.
Victims are often targeted via social media, dating apps, webcams, or porn sites.
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In some cases, victims have been known to lose thousands of pounds to sextortion scammers, who know that the shame and embarrassment of videos or photos being shared will be extremely distressing for victims.
This type of crime can affect anyone, but we know that young men are commonly targeted.
Social profiles featuring images of attractive young women are used by fraudsters to befriend people online, often with the caveat that they have mutual friends in common.
Sextortion can be committed by individuals, but organised crime gangs are usually behind it.
A Police spokesperson said: “The video from the National Crime Agency is good example of how someone might approach you online and the consequences that could follow. Please share this with anyone who you think may be unaware of this type of scam, to raise awareness.”
What to do if you’ve been targeted:
Don’t panic, help and support is available.
Save the evidence: Take screenshots. Save messages and images. Collect URL links to where the information is being shared online.
Report it to social media companies if communication happened on these channels. For example, Facebook or Instagram.
Report it to your internet service provider.
Block all communication with the person targeting you.
Most social media sites have rules against sharing intimate content without consent. You should be able to get the material removed.
Police say they understand that it might be difficult to report this type of crime to but add their officers are there to listen and to support you in any way they can.
You can report intimate image abuse in the following ways:
Facebook – send us private message to the Derbyshire Polce Facebook page
Twitter – direct message the contact centre via @DerPolContact
Website – Police have several crime reporting tools on their website or use the online contact form
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the textphone service on 18001 101.
You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111, or by visiting the Crimestoppers website.
These attacks came come via ‘phishing’ emails and Tmade to appear all the more credible because they provide seemingly plausible technical details about how this was achieved, and the scam can sometimes also include the individual’s password.