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Sextortion: What do I do if I become a victim?

April 10, 2018

Detectives are issuing advice to the public to protect them from becoming a victim of sextortion. 

Sextortion is a specific type of cyber-enabled crime in which victims are lured into performing sexual acts in front of their webcam. Unbeknown to victims, their actions are recorded by criminals who then use the video footage to blackmail them. 

Generally, criminals request money and if these demands are not met, the offenders threaten to upload the recordings to the internet or send them to the victims’ friends and family. Even if a payment is made, criminals often continue to demand more money.

Detective Superintendent Steve Woliter, Northamptonshire Police’s Kidnap and Extortion Champion, said: “Sextortion is a crime that can often make a victim feel completely isolated, embarrassed and unable to ask for help. 

“Indeed in recent years, there have been numerous victims across the country who have felt so desperate that they have committed suicide or have attempted to commit suicide, so this is a very real and significant threat. 

“I want to take this opportunity to reassure people that we are here to help and I would strongly encourage anyone who has been a victim of sextortion to come forward and report it to us. 

“Sextortion is something Northamptonshire Police take extremely seriously and something we will deal with in complete confidence and without any judgement; our primary objectives are to protect people from harm and to identify these criminals to prevent this from happening to other people. 

Please do use this sextortion guide to help us protect you as we know that this type of crime is committed on a large scale by criminals working locally within the UK and overseas, who do not consider or care about the impact their crimes can have.

“The maximum sentence offenders committing sextortion can receive is 14 years, so let us investigate what has happened to you and bring the offenders of these crimes to justice.”

Advice to victims:

  • Do not delete any correspondence
  • Do not pay 
  •  Do not communicate further with the offenders
  • Deactivate your accounts
  • Report online indecent images to the host website

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

You can get confidential help and support from:

If this has happened to you and you're under 18 please talk to an adult that you trust. It may feel like there is no way out, but there are professionals who can help you.

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