A new campaign has been launched to help the thousands of victims of sextortion. The news comes after four men have committed suicide after being targeted by this crime.
Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals befriend victims online and persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam. These images are then recorded by the criminals who threaten to share them with the victims’ friends and family – unless they are paid.
Cases are being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the victims are aged between 14 and 82. The highest proportion of victims are men aged between 21 and 30, and a substantial proportion are in the 11-20 age group.
The NCA has joined forces with the National Police Chiefs Council to give advice to people who may have been targeted. There have been 864 reports of webcam blackmail this year so far – with many more cases believed to have gone unreported.
What Is Sextortion?
Top Tips For Dealing With Sextortion
– The police will take your case seriously.
– They will deal with the matter confidentially and will not judge you for being in this situation. You aren’t alone.
Don’t Pay Anyone Anything
– Blackmail is a crime, you must never pay the offender.
– Many victims who have paid have continued to get more demands for higher amounts of money.
– In some cases, even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the videos.
– If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected.
– If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn’t, cancel the payment.
– Avoid any further communication with the criminals. Take screen shots of all your communication.
– Suspend your Facebook account (but don’t delete it) and use the online reporting process to report the matter to the social media platform to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces.
– Deactivating your accounts temporarily rather than shutting it down will mean data is preserved and will help the police to collect evidence.
Save Any Evidence You Can
– Don’t delete any correspondence. No matter how embarrassing it may be, keep a note of all details provided by the offenders.
– And finally, remember, you are the victim of organised criminals, you’re not alone and confidential support is available.
– If it’s happening now, call 999 and report it to the police.
– If it has happened recently, call the Police using 101.
– Remember that you’re the victim of organised criminals – you’re not alone and confidential support is available. You can get through this.
Further Help & Support
If this has happened to you and you’re under 18 please talk to an adult that you trust. It may feel like there is no way out, but there are professionals who can help you. You can also get help from:
- PAPYRUS provides confidential advice and support and works to prevent young suicide in the UK.
- Samaritans to talk any time you like in your own way and off the record
- Get Safe Online
- Revenge Porn Helpline
- Skype advice on protecting yourself from blackmail
More information on sextortion can be found here.
Complete the new 2016 Cyber Crime survey, so we can see the full scope of Cyber Crime in Warwickshire, and across West Mercia, the West Midlands and Staffordshire – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.
ThinkUKnow is a national website which offers tailored advice to young people about online safety concerns. There is also a section on there if you are a parent/carer or a teacher who is concerned about a young person’s safety online.