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RTE Prime Time Sextortion Online Sexual Exploitation Prevention Tips and Advice

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RTE Prime Time Sextortion

 

As with any new technology that comes along, there are always going to be those out there who will attempt to use it for illicit financial gain. Last nights RTE Prime Time featured SEXTORTION, a topic many people may not have been aware of. Sextortion according to Wikipedia “refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the category of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of coercion”. The more appropriate term is .

 

 

 

Simply put, this is a method of extortion, by which a perpetrator encourages an innocent victim to create, either explicit images, video or live stream content and share it. On receipt of the content, the perpetrator attempts to blackmail the victim, forcing them to send either substantial quantities of money, or further images.

Due to the very personal and embarrassing nature of the content, the victims will not want to have the content  released online and posted all over the internet. So many are compliant, often paying huge sums of money over, only to still have the content posted or shared on the pages of  their own friends list.

This is a pretty horrific form of extortion. One that for the most part, goes mostly unreported. Victims can be male or female, adult or a child. The perpetrator will attempt to obtain the images in various ways such as through hacking images from a device, or the image may have been shared consensually through sexting. In the case of adults, the perpetrator will seek to extort money.

In the case of children, further extortion of the child through an ever increasing level of more abusive image can be sought. Children could be coerced into a contact meeting where the child is sexually abused. Old devices sold on, which have not been cleared of all data, contained compromising images leave the previous owner vulnerable to this type of crime.

This type of crime is incredibly prevalent at the moment. Due to a lack reporting to parents or the Police, perpetrators could continue to go through a person’s entire social network, looking for further victims. Non-payment will result in the release of the images. Payment can also result in the release of the images. For children exposed to this, the impact can destroy them for the rest of their lives.

Europol released the two videos shown on this post, under the #SAYNO campaign. We would encourage everyone to view them. Studies are showing that education and awareness reduce the possibility of becoming a victim.

Some Advice for Adults, Parents and Children

  • From an adult’s perspective the first thing to accept is, regardless of if you pay, or do not pay, you must prepare for the reality the content forwarded will be released online.

  • Do not pay the money, payment will not guarantee the content not being posted

  • It is incredibly important to report this to the Gardai, if it goes unreported the scale of extortion will never be realised

  • It is incredibly important to leave others in your contact list know that an attempt has been made or has happened as quite often there may be others in your social network who are also being extorted

  • Screen capture all communication

  • Cease all communication and block the profile

  • Again Parental guidance for children is essential. The have to feel that no matter what mistake that they have made online it will be ok to tell you or another trusted adult.

  • Parents should always advise NEVER take clothes off or perform an intimate act in front of a webcam or store such images on a computer or smartphone

  • By taking an image of themselves and sharing it with another they can give ownership of their body to that person who may feel that they can then command the child to do as they please

  • Parents should ensure up-to-date internet security software is loaded and switched on, to avoid the possibility of someone remotely controlling your webcam

  • It is important that children NEVER respond to blackmail or extortion threats

  • If a compromising photo or video does appear on a website or social media site, report the images and ask for it to be removed and request that the profile of the person who posted the image be blocked.

  • Always remember that no matter how difficult it may seem, don’t be embarrassed, ashamed or afraid to report sextortion when it occurs, if you don’t, it will continue and many others, possibly in the victim’s social network, may become victims too

If you have been a victim of this crime, Please Report it

There are also support agencies you can contact

Team

Please tell use your experiences or other tips or advice we can share