If you’ve ever received an email threatening to release embarrassing or sensitive photos or videos of you unless you pay a ransom, then you’re the victim of sextortion. Sextortion is a type of online blackmail where someone uses explicit photos or videos to extort money from the victim. In most cases, the person behind the sextortion email will demand payment in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, so that they can’t be traced. If this sounds familiar to you and you want to know how to deal with sextortion emails, keep reading.
Should I Be Worried About a Sextortion Email?
Yes, you should be worried. Sextortion emails can be very frightening and may even contain real pictures or videos of you. However, it’s important to stay calm and not give in to the demands.
You should also keep in mind that sextortionists are often bluffing and don’t actually have any compromising material on you. Either way, sextortion emails are dangerous and this criminal has access to your real email address and can try other ways to threaten you or find a way to obtain your content if they don’t have it.
Should I Reply to a Sextortion Email?
If you receive a sextortion email, the best thing to do is to ignore it and report it to the authorities. Don’t reply to the email or try to contact the person who sent it. Doing so will only confirm your email address and let them know that they have reached a real person.
What you can do instead is document the email, email address, time, date, and any other important information you can hand over to authorities and experts to help them find where this email scam came from and from whom.
How to Deal with Sextortion Emails
Besides ignoring the email and reporting the crime, you should also avoid clicking on any links in the email as they may contain malware that could infect your computer. If you’re concerned about malware, run a virus scan on your computer using antivirus software. It’s also a good idea to change your password for any accounts that may have been compromised.
If you have any explicit photos or videos of yourself, make sure they are secure and not accessible by anyone else. Sextortionists often obtain compromising material by hacking into people’s computers or phones and stealing what they find there. By keeping your photos and videos secure, you can make it more difficult for them to be stolen in the first place.