Recently, the cybercrime department of the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force has received several reports about ‘Sextortion’.
What is Sextortion?
Sextortion is extortion with a sexually explicit photo or video of the victim. This may be a nude photo or video of the victim, but it may also be that webcam images of someone are edited in such a way that it appears that the victim is having sex with a minor so that posting material is also blackmailed in this way.
The blackmailer usually wants money or more spicy photos or videos of the victim. Often the photos and videos are stolen via social media, emails, by taking over webcams or by stealing equipment. You can report ‘Sextortion’.
What can you do against ‘Sextortion’?
- Don’t respond to the threats.
- When you do what is asked of you, they can blackmail you further. There is no guarantee that the blackmail will stop if you do what is asked.
- Collect as much evidence as possible.
- This can help if you go to the police now or later. Take as many screenshots as possible of the messages you receive. Is there something annoying about you online? Take screenshots of that and make sure the website address (URL) is visible.
- Remove and block the person everywhere.
- Find yourself on the internet via search engines.
- Did you come across your photo or video online? Then contact that site as soon as possible. You will often find a link to ‘help’, ‘abuse’ or ‘contact’ at the bottom of a site. Explain in your email that you can be seen on it and that you have not given permission for its placement.
- Please note that some sites are in English, so it is best to write your mail in English.
- Let the police know via email@example.com .
Tips to prevent ‘Sextortion’
- Share as little private information online as possible.
- Shield your social media profile from strangers and set other privacy settings properly. This also includes properly securing your photos.
- Use an alias or Nickname instead of your own name on dating and profile sites. This makes it difficult for scammers to identify you and find family, friends or colleagues.
- Don’t accept friends or follow requests from people you don’t know.
- Do not just click on links or open files if you do not know the sender (well) or do not expect an attachment.
- Clearly indicate your limits, for example, that you do not send nude photos.