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What is sextortion?

Sextortion is a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim.

Sextortion = Blackmail

Sextortion is a form of blackmail in which a predator takes photos and/or videos of an unsuspecting victim (usually a minor) and exploits them by requiring more pictures and/or videos be sent or the photos/videos the predator already has will be held for ransom until money is paid.

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Red flags

  • Something doesn’t add up—their online profile isn’t consistent with what you see when you engage with them.
  • It’s happening too fast—they express strong emotions for you almost right away.
  • They are persistent in asking for sexual pictures and/or videos.
  • They try to avoid webcam because they want actual pictures or videos.

What to do if you are being sextorted

  • Report it to the police
  • Remind yourself it’s not your fault. Remember, anyone can be a victim of sextortion, you are not alone and you haven’t done anything wrong.
  • Don’t panic. Reach out instead—get support from a trusted friend or family member as well as an expert counselling support service if you are feeling anxious or stressed.
  • Don’t pay. Don’t give them any money or send any more pictures of yourself. Giving in to demands will actually make things worse.
  • Stop all contact with the perpetrator. Block them and ask your friends to do the same. Consider temporarily deactivating your social media accounts (but don’t delete them as you may lose evidence that way).
  • Collect evidence. Keep a record of all contact from the perpetrator, particularly any demands or threats and make a note of everything you know about the perpetrator. 
  • Secure your accounts. Change the passwords for your social media and online accounts, and review the privacy and security settings of your accounts.
  • Notify the relevant social media platform.

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