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The FBI defines sextortion as “a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them with images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money.”Typically, the perpetrator has (or purports to have) some compromising images or videos or the victim.
They threaten to publish them online or share them with friends, family members, or colleagues if the victim doesn’t provide more material, engage in sexual acts, or hand over money. An infographic, released by Thorn, reveals that an alarming 45% of perpetrators actually carried out threats.
Plus, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg given that so many cases go unreported.
Sextortion is thought to be rising in popularity among criminals due to the attractive nature of the crime.
And through keyloggers, they can discover the credentials for all of your accounts.
This might sound far-fetched, but it happens more often than you might think.
This type of sextortion has been highlighted in the UK after a spate of male suicides related to sextortion cases.
The resulting images and videos can then be held to ransom.
Related: How to protect your privacy on Facebook If you’ve ever sent explicit images or videos via social media or a chat app, or have them stored on one of those platforms, someone could get their hands on them by hacking into your account.
This is especially troubling when you consider they could provide a back door to classified information and even compromise national security.
The increase in suicide cases related to sextortion highlights the very serious nature of these crimes.In general terms, sextortion is extortion involving material of a sexual nature, but it can take various forms.