If you have ever sent or received a sext, there is a chance that you could become a victim of sextortion. Sextortion is when someone threatens to share your nude photos or videos with your friends, family, or employer if you don’t do what they want. Preventing someone from blackmailing you can be difficult, but it is not impossible. In this blog post, we will explore “What is Sextortion” and provide you with essential steps to help protect yourself from this terrible crime.
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What is Sextortion?
The meaning of sextortion is a form of blackmail in which someone threatens to reveal your sexual activity or photos and videos to others unless you provide them with money, sexual favors, or other compensation. This issue can be particularly difficult for victims because they often feel ashamed and embarrassed about the situation. Sextortion can also come with life-alerting consequences. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and there are steps you can take to protect yourself from sextortion.
Different Types of Sextortion Scams
Sextortion is taking over the web and it’s getting difficult for individuals to notice they’re being targeted. Sextortion has many faces, and we will get into three common sextortion scams that are terrorizing the public.
Sextortion on social media has become far more common these days due to the normality of meeting new people online. Sextortionists have come up with a grand scheme that entails them creating catfish profiles and coercing people to send explicit images or videos with the idea that they are just having some fun. Once a victim agrees is when they are bombarded with threats of exposure to everyone they know online if they don’t comply with their demands, which include money or performing more sexual acts.
Phishing occurs when an individual receives an email from an anonymous person claiming they have hacked into their account and have sensitive content they are threatening to post if their ransom isn’t paid. The truth behind their threats can vary, some victims do get hacked and their private photos or videos are in danger of exposure and will send proof. Although, many phishing scammers will claim they have said content but are just bluffing to see if they can scare their victims enough for them to send money.
Hacked webcam scams can be one of the most violating forms of hacking. This occurs when malware has been downloaded into a victim’s device. Once embedded, a hacker can take full control over cameras, microphones, and any part of a victim’s device. They also can install keyloggers that grant hackers access to a victim’s many accounts, as well as a victim’s private content.
Why Do People Sextort?
Trying to figure out why these criminals do what they do is on every victim’s mind. Different cybercriminals act on sextortion for different reasons.
We have the sextortionists that do it just for the money. These perpetrators are ruthless and have little to no shame in what they do. The main objective is to get as much money from their victims as they possibly can and the way they receive such funds means nothing to them as long as they receive it.
Sextortionists that know their victim on a personal level have more malicious reasoning for doing what they do. They could be a jealous ex-lover or a friend you left on bad terms with, and want to gain revenge in a very twisted and incriminating way.
Some sextortionists act on sextortion for their pleasure. There are lots of sexual predators online that hunt for young adults, and unfortunately minors. Statistics found by Thorn, show that 1 in 4 victims were 13 or younger when they were threatened. As well as 2 in 3 victims were girls threatened before the age of 16.
How to Prevent Sextortion?
Some might think it’s fairly easy to spot a scam online but there are thousands of people who have fallen victim to sextortion online. These cybercriminals are very good at what they do. They have formed a set of strategies that have given them lots of success in their schemes.
Here are a few tips on how to prevent blackmail from happening to you
- Keep strong privacy settings on all of your devices and online accounts
- Be cautious of what information you share about yourself online
- Do not for any reason send explicit content to strangers online
- If you see any red flags from someone online, block them right away and stay clear
- Do not click any random links from emails or texts
We hope that these tips have helped you understand sextortion better and that you utilize the tips we have shared to keep yourself safer online. If you or someone you know is dealing with sextortion please reach out for help! Report Sextortion now! You are not alone in this and there are professionals available to you! Stay safe!