There are a great many details about peoples’ lives online. Between email, social media, payment services, file storage and dating sites, the internet is a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. It might be hard to imagine living in today’s high-tech world without having some kind of personal information in the cloud. Unfortunately, by no fault of our own, that information can sometimes fall into the wrong hands.
When the term internet fraud comes up, many people think of identity theft and phishing schemes. However, there are other types of internet fraud including “sextortion.”
Sextortion occurs when an online predator threatens to expose sexually explicit content – nude photos or videos of sex acts – about a target unless that person pays them. The online predator may have obtained possession of the material in a few different ways—hacking into the target’s accounts, engaging in an online relationship with the target or even a previously intimate relationship with the target.
The predator then uses the material to extort the target.
They may threaten exposure to family, friends or workplaces, or they may threaten to publish or sell the content online to ruin the person’s reputation. Ultimately, their goal is to get something from the target—either monetary payment, sexual favors or control over the target.
Unfortunately, many cases of sextortion go unreported because victims feel humiliated and fear additional exposure. Regardless of how the predator got the material, sextortion is illegal and should be reported to the authorities.
Private investigators that specialize in digital forensics, such as RKJ Investigations, can help the victim and authorities pursue the predator confidentially. They can assist in identifying the perpetrator’s IP address, tracing their online activity or recovering deleted files.
Although these cases deal with sensitive information, it is important for the victims of sextortion to remember that it is not their fault. Instead of giving in to the demands of sextortion, seek help from a firm that can protect your privacy and report it to authorities.