Sextortion is a form of blackmail often connected with pornography
Sextortion is a term used to describe extortion or blackmail that involves threats of publication of private information of intimate nature on the internet. It could be images or pornographic videos of the most embarrassing nature.
What is sextortion?
Sextortion is a form of blackmail of a sexual nature. It often happens where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images or videos of their victim online unless they give into their demands. The demands are often financial but could also be to perform further sexual acts or to be involved in pornographic films.
Who does sextortion happen to?
Sextortion could happen to everyone. It could be you, your child, your husband or wife and even your parent. Sextortion more often happens to individuals who search for love and partnership. It could happen to an individual who met someone on a dating website, in reply to an advert or through mutual friends. The blackmailers are often members of organised internet crime trolling groups. They consist of male and female who work together to deceive their victim. The blackmailers often invest time and effort in building up trust over days, weeks and even months. They often provide fake documents, images and videos of themselves to give their victim a false sense of security. They would then obtain private information, such as place of work, names of relatives, salary earned and future plans. They will later on use this information to make their demand.
Other victims include 'one off' sex workers or individuals who tested the experience of taking part in pornographic films. The sextortion blackmailers use intimate images and videos to extort further participation in sex acts, films and imagery. The victim is often threatened with disclosure of their participation to their parents or to other members of family.
Sextortion could also happen to victims of mobile telephone theft or hacks, where the blackmailer has accessed the gallery, where intimate images of themselves were stored (which is how a bit of fun sexting can turn into something much bigger, darker and harassing).
What to do if I find myself a victim of sextortion?
If you have found yourself in the middle of a sextortion case, you should seek legal advice quickly. If you send money to your blackmailers, you could become an easy target for them and they might continue to make threats and demands. If you understand your options you are more likely to make the right, informed decisions, rather than act out of panic.
You should get in contact with us, or with other lawyers who specialise in internet blackmail and who have dealt with sextortion cases similar to yours.
Thousands of people are at risk and many have parted with anything from a hundred pound to thousands in order to try and stop the perpetrators releasing what they are threatening and that is public humiliation by exposing sexual images of them. If you pay money to your blackmailer, you will be at risk of both losing money and being humiliated.
Are there any real life examples of how you have helped victims of internet blackmail?
A common example of the experiences of victims of internet blackmail is a client who didn't know that his intimate conversation via cybersex webcam calls with a female that he met on a forum would lead to a demand for money 'or your friends and family will all see the recorded videos online'.
This led to him sending money and then demands came for more. He became financially devastated before he came to us for advice. After helping him immediately, we revealed that the 'female' that he was purportedly having cybersex with was actually a pre-recorded video of a performer from a mainstream webcam sex site. The sextortion blackmailer was living overseas and was posting the same sex videos to hundreds of victims and at points during the film, they would send persuasive and encouraging texts that made it look live and personal for their victims.
Of course, the sextortion blackmailer would then film their victim responding.
Another example is of a single mother school teacher in her 40s, who came to us for legal advice after she met somebody online and after several dates, she was enjoying sex via Skype with her new friend. She felt this was a better way of handling her loneliness than bringing home a new boyfriend as her children were relatively young.
What she didn't expect was an email with a link to a sex video footage of her recorded on Skype and a threat that it was going to go online and be posted to her employers, colleagues, parents and even pupils, if she didn't send thousands of pounds to her blackmailer. Our client was so exacerbated with stress to the extent that she had considered committing suicide before she called us. She couldn't quite remember how much she had revealed about where she worked, which was in a high powered position at the school.
The sextortion perpetrator certainly knew where she lived and her last name. She also didn't want to go to the police because she felt embarrassed and worried about the information being leaked. After all, she was well known in the education field and in her community.
Read our article about another client that needed our legal help with sextortion after she had met someone on social media.
What help can I get with sextortion?
Sextortion is also used as a tool in revenge porn where people that you know that have intimate images and videos of a sexual nature of you and are threatening to ruin reputations and send the intimate material to people that you know via social media and email or to the media in order to gain power over you. Three of the most powerful tools to have at this point, when you are feeling so out of control and full of dread and anxiety are knowledge, advice and representation from trusted internet lawyers that understand the internet, the law and have years of experience of dealing with all types of online harms as well as new ways of online related crime and civil offences.
Cohen Davis is such a law firm. We firstly advise you not to panic because we can help and we know exactly what to do as quickly as possible because as with all internet related cases, time is of the essence and we don't mess around. We know how you are feeling and we know that acting quickly will minimise the damage. We want you to feel reassured that we can apply for anonymity for you in any court proceedings, if it gets that far.
Very often, when we get involved, the sextortion threats desist but what is also important to know, to ease your mind is that we will give you further reassurance and continually monitor the internet to ensure that if anything appears in the future about you, it will be taken down immediately. Cohen Davis will give comprehensive legal advice on what we can do after an immediate check and clean up on the internet.
Call us today. We promise that our sextortion internet lawyers will make you feel instantly calmer and reassured. You won't feel like this for much longer: 0800-612-7211.