Blackmail and Sextortion

Blackmail is the act of threatening someone in order to gain money or an action in return for not revealing information about them. This could be personal information/pictures or it can be related to a business.

Sextortion is when criminals set up fake profiles online, often using stolen images and made up details about their identity. They contact people and encourage them to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam or send images of themselves, unaware they are being recorded. Criminals then use these images as a way of blackmailing people into sending them money, or else they will share the images with their friends, family or colleagues.

If you have been a victim of sextortion or blackmail, here are some simple tips to help you:

  • Save the evidence: Take screenshots. Save messages and images. Collect URL links to where the information is being shared online.
  • Report it to social media companies if communication happened on these channels. For example, Facebook or Instagram.
  • Report it to your internet service provider.
  • Block all communication with the person targeting you.
  • Most social media sites have rules against sharing intimate content without consent. You can therefore ask for the content to be removed.
  • Be cautious about what personal information you share online