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This is especially troubling when you consider they could provide a back door to classified information and even compromise national security.The increase in suicide cases related to sextortion highlights the very serious nature of these crimes.Plus, webcams make it very simple for people to record themselves (or be secretly recorded).With the prevalence of sextortion crimes, it’s important that everyone is aware of what to look out for.Other sextortion schemes are less targeted and are more like generic phishing schemes. In July 2018, the FBI received 13,000 more sextortion complaints than it had in the previous month.
This type of sextortion has been highlighted in the UK after a spate of male suicides related to sextortion cases.
It’s very likely that targets will pay up instead of facing the embarrassing repercussions of having their private images and videos shared with friends, family members, colleagues, and the general public.
The ease with which victims fall prey to these schemes is a big concern for companies and governments too.
The FBI defines sextortion as “a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them with images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money.”Typically, the perpetrator has (or purports to have) some compromising images or videos or the victim.
They threaten to publish them online or share them with friends, family members, or colleagues if the victim doesn’t provide more material, engage in sexual acts, or hand over money. An infographic, released by Thorn, reveals that an alarming 45% of perpetrators actually carried out threats.