FBI, This Week: Sextortion Reports on the Rise
August 10, 2018
The FBI is seeing an increase in the number of reported extortion attempts of a sexual nature—what’s known as sextortion.
Mollie Halpern: The FBI is seeing an increase in the number of reported extortion attempts of a sexual nature—or what’s known as sextortion.
Between July 1 and the beginning of August, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, received an additional 13,000 complaints about the sextortion scam over the previous months.
Criminals are sending emails and letters using their victims’ authentic personally identifiable information to make their claims appear legitimate.
While their tactics vary, Unit Chief Donna Gregory provides one example of how the criminals are operating.
Donna Gregory: The criminals are actually saying that they have either photographs or videos of you in a compromising situation—that if you don’t pay the ransom, they’re going to release that to your contacts or post it on social media.
Halpern: The criminals usually do not actually possess those images.
One way to protect yourself from sextortion is …
Gregory: Be sure not to store sensitive or embarrassing pictures of yourself online or on your mobile devices.
Halpern: Learn more at www.ic3.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.