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Sextortion: What you need to know!

Sextortion or webcam blackmail - is on the increase

Sextortion refers to criminals deceiving webcam users into unclothing and performing a sexual act.

This footage is recorded and then used to blackmail victims for money.

It is an international, organised crime, making it difficult for the police to capture the criminals responsible.

British police believe the crime is growing but that the true numbers involved could be far higher than those reported due to the embarrassment that can be caused. The worse cases can be fatal – 17-year-old Daniel Perry from Dunfermline, took his own life in 2013, only an hour after being targeted.

Creator of website ‘Voices of Internet Crime, Speak Out!’ ( and revenge porn victim Folami Prehaye, presents a report looking into the phenomenon of sextortion, which spans an unsuspecting victim’s story, advice from the Head of Cyber Intelligence at Interpol, footage of a globally organised crackdown and an exclusive interview with an undercover investigator at the National Crime Agency.

Revenge porn is the practice of uploading online explicit images – specifically photos and videos – of ex-partners (or even current partners) without their consent. The images are generally taken during an intimate relationship. Images are sometimes accompanied by personal details such as the victim’s address and phone number.
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  • Do not be too embarrassed or ashamed to report revenge porn.
  • Remember that even the closest relationships can sometimes go wrong and that intimate images could be shared against your will at some time in the future.

If you’re looking for romance online, make sure you’re doing it safely.

As the name suggests, those who post revenge porn do so mainly to ‘get back’ at having been rejected or what they consider to be some other kind of injustice. Although there is no hard and fast rule, the majority of perpetrators are male and most victims are young females.

On some occasions, it is used for blackmail, with the threat that images will be posted – or if they are already online not removed – until a sum of money is paid or the victim agrees to resume the relationship.

There are three main forums used to share such explicit images:

- Social media sites. Twitter and Facebook have both recently strengthened their policies about revenge porn and those who post it.

- Specialised revenge porn websites and forums

- Direct messaging to the victim and third parties by email or text

In February 2015, revenge porn became a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

The risks

- An ex-partner (or somebody else) posting or otherwise sharing explicit/intimate images of you, causing at worst extreme distress or at best, embarrassment.

- Becoming the victim of financial or emotional blackmail.

- If it is you that perpetrate an act of revenge porn, the very real possibility of:

      - Being convicted of a criminal offence, with a possible prison sentence of up to two years.

      - Causing considerable distress to your victim, with potentially tragic results to them and their family.

Do remember that however close you are to somebody, things may change and any photos or videos shot whilst in a relationship could feasibly be shared with others.

If you are a victim of revenge porn

  • Do not respond to blackmail threats.
  • Report it to the police.
  • If it appears on a website or social media site, report the images to the site, ask for them to be removed and the perpetrator to be blocked.
  • Do not be too embarrassed or ashamed to report revenge porn, as you could be helping yourself as well as other actual or potential victims. 
If you need any help, contact us on the main site
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