What is sextortion?

It is is when you do something sexually online that another person can take advantage of.

Sextortion is webcam extortion

Demands are made for money after you have been persuaded to take off your clothes or perform sexual acts while chatting online.

You believe this to be a private act that is not being recorded. 

You are told it has been recorded and the video will be shared on the Internet unless you pay them some money.

Sextortion is a global problem and can occur anywhere the Internet is accessible.

Keeping yourself safe online is not just about your password

Cover your webcam when you are not using it.


  • Is that person really who they say they are?
    • Have you checked?
      • Have you asked around?
      • Have you met them in the real world?
      • Have you known them a long time?
      • Are you drunk?

Remote Access Trojan (RAT)

This malware can be used to operate your built-in webcam, recording images of you without your knowledge. This malware is known as a Remote Access Trojan (RAT), and it can remotely activate your webcam, at the same time disabling the camera indicator light.

“I can’t describe how that makes me feel. I feel uneasy in my own home and feel that I am being watched… It’s a horrible feeling that I’m not sure will ever go away now.”

What can YOU do to reduce the likelihood of sextortion happening to you?

  • Keep your computer security protection updated
  • Confirm that your webcam is de-activated when not in use
  • Cover your webcam when not in use
  • If using Skype be alert to the fact that ‘contacts’ are not always who they say they are.
  • If you allow a relationship to develop be guarded if unusual requests are made of you.
  • If you use online chat rooms be careful about any relationship that you form and in particular if you are asked to transfer to Skype.
  • Some online chat rooms have a visual contact facility so if you are looking for a person to chat with and allow a relationship to form – be guarded on what you say and do.
  • Relationships are quick to develop. End any that you are not comfortable with – stay in control of what you do.

REMEMBER – what goes on the Internet is very difficult to remove.

“The moment you reveal yourself in an online video, you become vulnerable to exploitation and sadly it is the blackmailers who instantly become in control of the situation.”

What to do if you’re a victim of sextorion

(Advice from the National Crime Agency)

  1. Don’t panic. Contact us the police and your internet service provider immediately. Please report sextortion by completing the online non-emergency form or by calling 101. We the police will take your case seriously, we will deal with it in confidence and we won’t judge you for being in this situation.
  2. Don't communicate further with the criminals. Take screen shots of all your communication. Suspend your Facebook account (but don’t delete it) and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account temporarily rather than shutting it down will mean the data is preserved and will help police to collect evidence. The account can also be reactivated at any time so your online memories are not lost forever. Also, keep an eye on all the accounts which you might have linked in case the criminals try to contact you via one of those.
  3. Don't pay. Many victims who have paid have continued to get more demands for higher amounts of money. In some cases, even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the video. If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn't, cancel the payment.
  4. Preserve evidence. Make a note of all details provided by the offenders, for example; the Skype name (particularly the Skype ID), the Facebook URL; the Western Union or MoneyGram Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN); any photos/videos that were sent, etc. Be aware that the scammer's Skype name is different to their Skype ID, and it's the ID details that police will need. To get that, right click on their profile, select ‘View Profile’ and then look for the name shown in blue rather than the one above it in black. It'll be next to the word ’Skype’ and will have no spaces in it. DO NOT DELETE ANY CORRESPONDENCE.

Remember that you're the victim of organised criminals - you're not alone and confidential support is available. You can get through this.

You are not alone. We are professional people that can help and we will offer support and guidance in a sensitive manner.

For further help and advice see the links on this page.

“The moment you reveal yourself in an online video, you become vulnerable to exploitation and sadly it is the blackmailers who instantly become in control of the situation.”

Quote from a Detective

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