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Sextortion Scams

What is Sextortion?

Sexual extortion – sometimes called 'sextortion' – is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share intimate images of you online unless you give in to their demands.

These demands are typically for money, more intimate images or sexual favours. Blackmailers often target people through dating apps, social media, webcams or adult pornography sites.

While sexual extortion can be used by individuals, organised crime is often behind it when the blackmailer demands money. Commonly the blackmailer is not based in Australia.

Remember, it is not your fault. Anyone can experience sexual extortion, you are not alone and you have not done anything wrong.

What to look for

When talking to new people online there are a few things to look out for:

  • Unsolicited friend or follow requests or random adds from people you don't know.
  • Sudden sexualised questions or conversations.
  • Instantly receiving sexual images from a fake account and asking for you to send some in return.
  • Getting a direct image on one app, then asked to continue chatting on a different one.
  • Signs that English may be a second language.
  • The 'female' profile might say their webcam or microphone are not working for video calls/chats.
  • The 'female' profile says that they promise to delete the pictures you send through.

What to do if your 'sextorted'

  1. End the chat immediately.
  2. Take screenshots of the text and profile.
  3. Do not pay.
  4. Do not respond to demands.
  5. Do not think you're alone.
  6. Report it to police.
  7. Block the account.
  8. Report the account to the platform.

This is sextortion

Think you can spot a scam?

Take this quick 5 minute quiz.

Cyber scam quiz (5 minutes)

Have you been a victim of a cyber scam? Click on one of the below Australian Government links, our information page or contact us directly for advice.

Victim of a scam?
Helpful links below.