Have you ever heard of sexual extortion, also commonly referred to as sextortion? It is an insidious form of online blackmail wherein an individual deceives or coerces you into transmitting explicit or intimate images of yourself. Subsequently, once the images are in their possession, the perpetrator threatens to publicly expose them or share them with individuals you know, unless you yield to their demands. Typically, these demands involve financial compensation, although there are instances where you may be instructed to solicit money from others and forward it on, known as the practice of money muling. Classified as a variant of threat and penalty scams, sexual extortion exploits the emotions of fear and humiliation to manipulate its victims.
Seek Immediate Assistance for Sexual Extortion by ricatto sessuale
Regain control and cease all responses. It is important to remember that you have the right to refuse any requests that make you uncomfortable, even if you have previously shared something with the individual. If they attempt to guilt-trip you, always keep in mind that THEY are the ones engaging in inappropriate behavior.
Instead of complying with the blackmailer or paying them off, seek help. More often than not, cooperating or giving in to their demands does not put an end to the threats.
Reach out to a trusted individual. It is crucial to address your emotions, and discussing the situation with someone who cares about you can be incredibly helpful. Consider confiding in a close friend, teacher, counselor, or parent. Unsure of where to start? You can initiate the conversation with a simple statement like:
“I’m dealing with a situation in my life that I need assistance with. I’m not sure who to turn to, but can you help me figure out what steps I should take?”
Although the intensity of the threats may make you hesitant, studies indicate that resisting is usually the best course of action.
Report the act of sextortion. Technology companies can provide assistance in removing the explicit content and, in some cases, even the threats themselves. If necessary, report both the individuals threatening you and the explicit content that has been shared. A comprehensive guide on reporting is available for multiple major platforms.
You can also notify law enforcement. Some victims have reported successful resolution of their situations through police involvement. However, it is essential to note that involving the police may have consequences for you as well. Remember that sharing sexual images of minors, even if they are of yourself, is illegal. In most cases, it is advisable to first approach a trusted adult and collectively decide whether involving the police is the right step.
Preserve all evidence. While it may seem counterintuitive, block the blackmailer while retaining all your conversations and profile information. This will serve as substantial proof of what transpired, rather than relying solely on your memory. Save text messages, photos, videos, websites, and any other relevant content. Screenshots and PDFs can be effective methods for preservation.
Change all your passwords. If someone has access to your passwords, it is crucial to immediately modify them to safeguard your privacy. Utilize tools such as LastPass to enhance the security and privacy of your accounts.