Imagine your most intimate moments exposed and sent to all of your contacts. Sounds like your worst nightmare? This is exactly what sextortion is all about. Scammers take over their victims' sexual and threaten to publish it online unless a ransom is paid. Let's see how criminals corner their victims and how you can protect your privacy.
Phishing is one of the most common methods of sextortion. You receive an email claiming that the sender has cracked one of your accounts and now possesses your sexually explicit content. Scammers ask for money or might even demand to film and send them intimate videos. To prove they’re not joking, their sextortion email may also include your credentials, which they most likely found on some breached database.
Criminals do their homework well: they might know your employer, your partner’s name, and the squash club you regularly visit. It makes their demands more convincing and in a state of shock victims tend to pay up.
Hackers use malware to take control over your camera, microphone, and even record what you type on your keyboard. You may not have the slightest idea that somebody is snooping on you, when one day you receive a message with intimate footage and a demand for money. There are even websites broadcasting hacked cameras online, disturbing as it might sound.
Blackmailers, like social media cyberbullies, use online platforms to attack you. Criminals gain their victims’ trust and convince them to perform sexual acts on camera. While this might seem like a game at first, soon victims realize that their videos are held for ransom. It’s estimated that 71% of sextortion victims are under the age of 18. Criminals often conduct the attacks from foreign countries, making it hard for local police to catch them.
1 in 5 people have had their accounts hacked at least once. Social media messaging archives are full of naked pictures from beach parties, sex videos of couples, and morning selfies in the shower. This is a gold mine for hackers looking to get a dime. Once they find an account with valuable footage, they demand money and it can be hard to retrieve the content. Many cases are left unreported, as the victims are often too embarrassed to contact law enforcement.
Cybersecurity experts warn that sextortion crimes are on the rise, so it’s important to stay cautious online. If you have any questions on how to protect your privacy, do not hesitate to contact our team.
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