KRALENDIJK – The Dutch Caribbean Police Force (KPCN) has recently received several reports of sextortion. In this case the victim is extorted with sexually oriented photos or videos. KPCN provides tips below to prevent sextortion and lets you know what to do if you are a victim.
Sextortion is extortion using a sexually explicit photo or video of the victim. This can be a nude photo or video of the victim, but it can also be that webcam images of someone are edited to make it look like the victim is having sex with a minor, so this is also a way to be blackmailed into putting material online.
The extortionist usually wants money or just more spicy photos or videos from the victim. Often the photos and videos are stolen through social media, emails, by taking over webcams or by stealing equipment. You can report sextortion.
Victim of sextortion
If you are a victim of sextortion do not respond to the threats. If you do, there is a risk that you will be blackmailed further. You also get no guarantee that the blackmail will stop if you do what is asked.
What you can do is block and delete the person everywhere and collect as much evidence as possible. You can do this by taking screenshots of messages you receive. Look yourself up through Internet search engines. If there is something nasty about you online, take screenshots showing the website address (URL). Also, contact that site as soon as possible. Often you will find a link to ‘help’, ‘abuse’ or ‘contact’ at the bottom of a site. Explain in your email that you can be seen on the site and did not consent to its posting. Note that some sites are in English, in which case it is best to write your mail in English. Also let the police know at email@example.com
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 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 figure out your identity and to find family, friends or colleagues.
Don’t accept friend or follower requests from people you don’t know. Don’t just click on links or open files if you don’t know the sender (well) or don’t expect an attachment. Clearly state your limits, for example that you will not send nude photos. Say “no” to requests you don’t want to participate in.