What Is Sextortion?
People are often confused by the definition of Sextortion. Sextortion is when a person threatens to release your sensitive information if you don’t share with them sexually explicit images of themselves. It could also be that a person already has explicit content of you and threatens to reveal that content unless you pay them. The perpetrator could also threaten to cause harm to your friends and family using information they found online.
So, how does this even begin? Well, the perpetrator will do what they can to gain your trust online. They may find their victims in chat rooms, on social media, and messaging apps. If they don’t get their way, they may try to hack your devices to obtain your personal information or control your webcam.
3 Methods of Sextortion
Social media is the starting point for most sextortion scams. The scammer will harmlessly friend and message someone’s social media account. After some time spent gaining the person’s trust, they will ask the victim to send explicit images or request for them to do sexual acts live on camera for them. Once the scammer gets these inappropriate videos or images, they may use it against the victim as blackmail and demand money from them.
Email phishing schemes look to obtain personal information about someone including login information, name, DOB, credit card numbers, bank account information, and more. For sextortion specifically, scammers look to get a person’s account login information and password so they can access a person’s online accounts that contain personal photos, videos, data, and financial information. For example, a scammer may send an email saying you need to change your bank account password when in reality, they are looking to get into your account.
Hacked Webcams & Accounts
When someone hacks into your account or webcam, they get access to your private information you don’t want others seeing. This includes any explicit images, videos, or sexts you’ve sent others or saved. For webcams, hackers can invade your computer’s webcam using malware and take control of it without you realizing.
How To Deal With Sextortion
Stop Contact With The Perpetrator Immediately
First and foremost, you must stop communicating with the perpetrator. Block them on whatever platform they are contacting you on such as via text or social media. Continuing to talk with them could make the situation worse.
Change All Of Your Account & Device Passwords
As stated before, these scammers often look to infiltrate or hack your online accounts or devices. To ensure they are all secure, change your device and online account passwords to something no one can guess.
Review All Of Your Account Security & Privacy Settings
Besides changing your passwords, you can utilize security and privacy settings your online accounts offer. This may include two-factor authentication, security questions, recovery emails or phone numbers, and more.
Make Sure Your Devices Are Updated
One of the ways malware and/or hackers can infiltrate your computer is through software vulnerabilities. By regularly updating your device(s), online criminals cannot take advantage of these flaws.
Document Any Evidence of the Sextortion
In the event you need to report your sextortion case to the authorities, document all evidence to prove your case. Images, videos, messages, letters… basically anything that proves that you were the victim of sextortion.
To learn more about sextortion, view a video from the FBI below.
To make sure your child isn’t roped into any sextortion schemes, use Auto Forward Parental Control Software to monitor their cell phone use.