And police are warning that with sextortion on the rise, there could actually be many more victims – and many are reluctant to come forward.
But they say victims should NEVER pay – and they SHOULD report the crime to the police.
“Sextortion” is a form of blackmail. This involves threatening to publish someone’s sexual information, photos or videos, usually in order to extort money.
A typical threat goes something like: “Transfer the money or we will pass on your pictures.”
“Criminals are targeting people via dating apps, social media or pornography sites,” a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said.
“They may use a fake identity to befriend you online, ask you to send them pictures or videos – and then threaten to send them to your family and friends.”
Police warn sextortion is on the rise.
“Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common,” the spokesman said.
“Shockingly, 54 victims in York and 212 victims in North Yorkshire have received such messages since the start of the year.”
“And these are just the reports to the police – it may of course be that there are many more victims who have not reported.”
Police say sextortion can happen to anyone – but they say victims should NOT pay out.
There are several things you should do if you are a loved one who is targeted, officials say:
- Don’t panic: help and support is available
- Don’t pay
- Do not communicate with the person who is talking to you
- Save the evidence: Take screenshots, save messages and images, or collect URL links to where the information is being shared online
- Report it to your ISP and social media companies (like Snapchat or Facebook) if communication occurred through these channels
- Report it to the police.
“We understand that it may be difficult to report this type of crime to us,” the police spokesman said. “But remember, our officers are here to listen to you and support you in any way we can.”
If you or a loved one have been a victim of sextortion, you can report it online by visiting Go to the North Yorkshire Police website and click on the “Report” tab.or by calling 101.
Police say there are also many reliable online resources for those concerned about sextortion. These include the Revenge Porn HelplineThe National Crime Agency (NCA), the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Order (CEOOP), as well Make yourself safe online.
https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23773630.sextortion-rise-york—police-urge-victims-come-forward/?ref=rss ‘Sextortion’ on the rise in York – police urge victims to come forward