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Have you heard of sextortion?

News story

Sextortion is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share intimate images of you online unless you give in to their demands.

Stressed man looking at his laptop sitting in a study booth.

When sextortion occurs, blackmailers often demand money, more intimate images or sexual favours. Blackmailers often target people, usually men, through dating apps, social media, webcams or adult pornography sites.

While sextortion can occur by individuals, organised crime is often responsible when the money is demanded. Often, the blackmailer is not based in Australia.

What are the warning signs of sextortion?

  1. Something does not add up — their online profile is not consistent with what you experience.
  2. It happens too fast — they express strong emotions for you immediately and quickly tempt you across to a more private channel.
  3. They make excuses — they say their webcam is not working and instead send an explicit photo which they claim is of them.
  4. They say they need help — they say they need money for a personal emergency such as medical treatment, rent or even to travel to Australia.

If you’ve been a victim of sextortion, the most important thing is to not give in to the blackmailer’s demands for money or more images and follow the advice on the eSafety website.

You can also contact Curtin’s Safer Community team 24/7 via email or call +61 8 9266 4444 for additional support.

Remember, it is not your fault. Anyone can experience sextortion, you are not alone and you have not done anything wrong.