Europol launches a new awareness campaign against sexual extortion or ‘sextortion’ of youngsters. A trend more and more youngsters are being confronted with according to international police figures.
This kind of extortion can take two forms: People are either asked for money in return for not publishing certain information or images or asked to share more and more explicit images. Sextortion is punishable in Europe as it falls under both extortion and fraud.
To inform people about the dangers of sexual extortion, Europol has published a video on Youtube with true stories.
How to prevent it?
It is important to realize that if you constantly share personal information online, this information is available to everyone. The more personal information can be found on the Internet, the more personalized criminals can target you online or in chat rooms.
It is also recommended not to engage in webcam sex scenarios in communications with strangers or to share nude photos. In particular, if you are recognizable.
People on the Internet are not always who they say they are. Someone who says they are 16 years old and even has pictures to prove it, could actually be 40 or even older. Sometimes real criminal organisations are involved.
Are you a victim?
• Save all your messages and screenshots to help the police arrest the culprit(s).
• Talk to your parents, a teacher, or another confidant.
• File a report with the police in your hometown.
• If you’re afraid to go to the police, Child Focus can support you.
• You can also contact the Child Focus helpline for safe Internet on 116 000.
You’ll find more information on: