Extortion and fraud on Internet are a growing phenomenon; common sense and the information can greatly limit their expansion. The sextortion is first and foremost a form of fraud with a heavy impact.
There are criminal gangs from Eastern Europe and Africa (Morocco and the Ivory Coast) who recruit young and very beautiful people of both sexes which make them surf the web and social networks for creating fake profiles on dating sites, on Facebook and, just recently, also on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a site that they work with scammers which be very dangerous because they are capable of ruining the credibility of the people targeted such as professionals, notaries, lawyers, single and married men, single women or women who have behind emotional instability situations.
The sextortion can happen in two ways depending on the target of the chosen victim: In the first case when the person to cheat is a teenager who has taken his first steps toward understanding the opposite sex and their sexuality: rather than extort money or material goods, a “sextortionist” require sexual favors relying on intimidation, fear and blackmail. By means of very advanced technologies, such as the use of mobile phones and Internet, it has become extremely easy to take naked pictures of themselves or showing a part of your body and then upload them to the web. In most cases the parents are not aware of what their own children do. After choosing the victim, the sextortionist comes into contact with her/him and then tries to carry out his evil plan. In most situations the sextortionist is close to the victim’s residence and whatever happens after is to be considered terrifying.
When the “extortionist” (very often they are a sex offender) is captured by a photo of a naked adolescent, or showing her sensuality, uses this material as a weapon of blackmail towards the victim, claiming to send more images or incriminating video, otherwise he will tell their secret. The teenager is at the mercy of a strong sense of fear, confusion and shame, and often is willing to provide other material for the sole purpose of keeping the incident secret with the “sextortionist” not having the ability to react. The whole situation, for a young teenager, is too great a burden to bear and sometimes you can get to a state of confusion and uncertainty as to remain even more dominated by sextortionist and submissive to his will.
Very often it happens that girls of 10-14 years of age become with this scam victims of pedophiles and are forced to specific involuntary sexual services.
The sextortionist, after having fixed an appointment, brings the victim to a hotel room where they they will take abuse of which can happen several times and with different victims simultaneously. The sextortionist has a copy of the photo on his phone and others are stored in his computer.
Such as child pornography is considered a crime as in the same way sextortion is considered. No one should have the right to extort sexual material from people of whatever degree or smaller.
A special call goes to parents, because your children must be monitored and controlled in their access to the web just to make sure there are no special dangerous situation that could compromise their security network even if they are against. Constant monitoring is also recommended for tablets and phones or any device that allows not only the connection to the internet but also the ability to take selfies. This is not to invade their privacy or spoil their fun, but considering the risks it may incur, it is an appropriate preventive and protective action in respect of their children. Your children need to understand that in Internet there are rules that must be respected for their physical, mental and emotional safety and to protect their privacy.
In the second case, when the sextortionist engages someone in chat, he begins to implement his plan: he pretends madly in love with the victim or, telling sob stories trying to steal his confidence. Unsuspected people for inexperience are convinced to have found a soul mate and go wild in sexual compromising attitudes before the meeting occurs which unfortunately never happens.
When the sextortionist works on social networks, here comes the friend request; the scammer infact is strongly interested in joining in the circle of friends because this list is part of the game and blackmailand then the conversation is moved on Skype (which is be more difficult to identify by law enforcement). Once entered in this field the unconscious person is convinced to appear without clothes in front of the webcam, or in seductive and sexually provocative poses. Other times the sextortionist can convince the victim to perform real sex acts as “a token of love.” The person involved does not know that he is being video recording, and when the sextortionist believes he has enough material to make a blackmail, stops recording and displays video.
When the victim is aware of having fallen into a trap, the sextortionist shows him the video threatening to make it known on the web and on social if not paid the payment of a ransom. They are often required several installments and payment must be made through the Western Union circuit, because this makes it more difficult to track transactions. If the fraud was perpetrated there is no need to pay but it is fair to expose a complaint at the police office, as subject to the request for payment does not make us free, as extortion could continue and there is no guarantee that the compromising material is then actually destroyed and not released.