#Sextortion is a #Crime that was born from the development of high-quality social media and networking websites, such as Skype, Facebook, and online dating sites to name a few. The victim is in a submissive position where they are encouraged to perform sexual favours, which will be used as a mean of blackmail against them.
Who are sextortion victims?
Victims of a sextortion blackmail tend to be primarily men, starting as early as 11 until in their 80s.
The National Crime Agency have reported that a large proportion of victims are between 21 and 30, but there is also a substantially worrying proportion of very young victims aged 11 to 18.
How do you fall into the sextortion trap?
Victims don't see it coming until it is too late. For teenager Gary, it starting with a contact on a dating site. Rapidly, he was encouraged to reveal himself per webcam. She asked that he 'showed himself more, showed his face', he remembers. Then the blackmail started: She wanted £500 or she would publish it all on social media. Gary was so ashamed that he considered suicide. But he turned to the #Police for protection and his troubles were soon no more. However, Gary is only a case out of many.
The NCA fears that there are many more cases that are left unreported out of shame or embarrassment. This was the case for four men last year who, unable to cope with the blackmail, chose to take their own lives.
What to do if you are victim of a sextortion blackmail
Sextortion is a very damaging crime for the individual, and as a result, is taken extremely seriously. The NCA urges victims to come forward and receive help. Last year only more than 40 arrests were made in the Philippines in relation to sextortion crimes. There is currently an international enquiry following the suicides of four young men in the UK. Victims of this 'invidious crime' need to report it as soon as possible, warns Roy Sinclair from the NCA, because blackmailers only succeed if you are too embarrassed to get help.
How to report a sextortion crime
You can report all crimes by calling the 101 and talking to the agent on the phone. They will know what to do.