Police are warning members of the public regarding online extortion offences.
South Australia Police have identified reports involving people sending intimate images or videos, who are then threatened into paying money to stop offenders from releasing those images or videos.
These are serious offences known as ‘Sextortion’. Victims as young as 16 years old, are been targeted through social media through random friend requests. From there, an exchange in messages takes place which develops into a request for intimate images or videos from the victim. The offender then threatens to distribute the images to the victim’s family and friends, unless a payment is made.
Another known extortion tactic used by offenders is through emails to a victim claiming they have been filmed visiting adult websites or performing intimate acts whilst online. To give some legitimacy to the claim, the email can contain an old password or username of the victim, that has been previously compromised.
The victim believes the filming exists, although this is almost never true.
South Australia Police encourages members of the public;
- to stay safe online
- to avoid sending intimate images and videos online
- to refuse demands for payments
- to report these criminal offences to authorities using the websites Cyber.gov.au at https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/report and eSafety Commissioner at https://www.esafety.gov.au/
- for young people to speak to a trusted adult for support
For further information on scams affecting South Australians, please visit www.police.sa.gov.au/scams