Sextortion is a situation that is extremely tough to deal with. This new form of blackmail robs people of their privacy and money. Due to popular social media platforms, sextortion is well on its way to becoming an epidemic! If you are a victim of this terrible crime, do not panic; help is available! Read on to find out more about sextortion and what to do in the UK if you become a victim.
What is Online Sextortion in the UK?
Online sextortion is a well-thought-out scam that sextortionists have put together and has unfortunately shown lots of success across the world including the UK. Sextortion consists of blackmailers disguising themselves behind social media accounts on popular platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. They then coerce their victims into sharing explicit content and blackmail them into sending money or else they will begin exposing their victim’s content to the public.
This type of digital abuse takes a major toll on victims and their lives. Their sense of peace is taken and replaced with anxiety, isolation, and even depression. Families are torn apart, jobs are terminated, debt is accumulated, and even lives are taken due to this heinous crime.
How Common is Sextortion in the UK?
Based on the UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline, cases of sextortion started to show a rise since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. This has also been seen in the United States. Covid-19 left millions of people isolated in their homes and frankly quite very bored and for some lonely. They took to the internet and social media to entertain themselves and instead met the wrath of sextortionists. The helpline states how cases have doubled between 2020 and 2021, causing it to be 25% of their cases in 2021 and it’s only getting worse as the years go by.
It’s important to take into account the mass popularity of social media and the accessibility it grants people. There are millions of people online from all parts of the world and among those millions are criminals. The internet has given criminals a massive advantage to carry out their attacks.
Sextortion: What to Do if You Are a Victim in the UK?
If you are a victim of online sextortion in the UK there are steps you can take to protect yourself and get the help you need. Follow these tips so that you can start your plan to get back your life.
- Document as much of the abuse as you can. Having evidence of the harassment is very beneficial for an investigation to take place.
- Do not pay your blackmailer. We know that you might want to end the situation as fast as possible and you think that paying them off will put an end to it, however, doing so will only make things worse. These criminals will realize their plan is working and will just keep coming back for more money.
- Confide in someone about your situation. Sextortion can leave victims feeling isolated and vulnerable. Having a support system will give you the strength and courage to overcome this traumatic event.
- Lock down your social media. The less these criminals can use against you the better! Make sure that you have strong privacy settings and are limiting the amount of personal information you share on your profiles.
- Lastly, report the online sextortion to authorities and cyber security experts. Do not stay silent about this! The more you keep it a secret, the more power you are giving your blackmailer! Get help as soon as you can!
Sextortion is a serious crime that can have a lasting impact on your life. If you are a victim of sextortion, don’t hesitate to get help. You should report the crime to the authorities and take steps to protect yourself online. We can also help you overcome this terrible experience. Call us today for confidential and professional support for sextortion and what to do in the UK once you become a victim.