Police warn of sex blackmailers on the PC – how to protect yourself

Sex blackmailers always find new victims on the PC. This is how blackmail with sextortion works and the police give these tips to protect against it.

The police headquarters in Upper Bavaria South warns of a method of extortion that has been known for a long time and that is experiencing its second spring in line with the season: sextortion. In the area of ​​​​the police headquarters in Oberbayern Süd, a number of such cases are pending, as the police emphasize.

This is sextortion

“Once upon a time there was a woman who showed her abdomen” – this is what the Aachen police already wrote in 2018 to warn against sextortion. Sextortion (an artificial word from the English words “sex” and “extortion” – blackmail) is about the gangster or rather the gangster getting their mostly male victim to undress in front of the running webcam and perform sexual acts on himself. The cyber gangster then blackmails her victim with these delicate video recordings and threatens to publish the recordings on the web or to send them to friends or social media contacts of the blackmailed person. Unless the victim pays hush money.

This is how the blackmailers find their victims

The blackmailers mainly find their victims in social networks. “Attractive female profiles” serve as a decoy. The gangsters first send out a harmless friend request. If the victim accepts this, they first chat a bit, with the chats quickly devolving into sexual content. Finally, both people meet on one of the numerous existing video platforms.

As soon as the victim has provided “usable” images of their sexual activity, the blackmailers immediately threaten to send the footage to friends’ lists or family members if the victim does not agree to pay a large sum in euros to a foreign account number. Alternatively, Bitcoin payments or the release of activation numbers for prepaid cards can also be requested. The pressure is increased by the fact that the blackmailers claim that the lady from the chat is still a minor.

The police determined that the extorted sums often flow towards Ivory Coast. The hush money paid is lost.

Current case figures

In one case the victim paid 8,000 euros and in another it was 3,000 euros. While 20 such cases were recorded in the area of ​​the police headquarters in 2020, the number rose to more than 30 cases in the following year 2021 and a further increase in the number of cases can be expected for the current year 2022.

Nasty software created nude photos of over 100,000 women

The police advise:

  • Do not accept friend requests from strangers.

  • Check your account and privacy settings regularly.

  • Be cautious about disclosing personal information such as your address, date of birth or employer.

  • Don’t rush to agree to a video chat.

  • If in doubt, tape the chat camera first so that you can only communicate verbally and observe what is happening.

  • Don’t agree to exposure or intimate acts in video chat if you’ve only known the person for a short time.

  • Always keep the operating systems and virus protection systems on the end devices you use online, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets or computers, up to date in order to protect yourself from malware. There is malware that will easily activate your webcam and film you with it at any time!

If you are already being blackmailed:

  • Don’t transfer money! The extortion usually does not stop after the payment.

  • File a report with the police.

  • Contact the operator of the site and arrange for the image material to be deleted. Inappropriate content can be reported to the site operator via buttons set up specifically for this purpose.

  • Immediately break off contact with the anonymous person, do not respond to messages.

  • Back up chat histories and messages with screenshots.

The police have released a video showing the process of such a sextortion here:

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