Increase in online sextortion, young males being primary target:

27th September 2021 – Cybertip, Canada’s leading organization which works as a tipline for reporting online sexual exploitation of children and youth, has reported a 62% increase in reports of teens being sextorted in the past 6 months, with males between 15-17 being the primary targets.

Sextortion works as a blackmail where the victim is threatened by offenders to send a sexual image or video of him/her to other people if the victim does not pay or provide more sexual images or videos. Cybertip reports that sextortion begins with casual online conversation. The initial contact is done with victims through popular social media platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram and as the relationship grows, the contacts are asked to connect through Skype or Google. Offenders persuade and pressurize the victims to undress on camera. They pretend to be friends. Young males are tricked under the impression that a female is interested in them.

The report confirms that the offenders ask for money (anything between $ 70 to $700) for not posting the images or videos online. According to the report, the cases of sextortion have seen a spike during pandemic as youth are spending more time in online activities.

What can you do if you or someone you know is a victim of sextortion?

  • Contact or report to local Police immediately;
  • Stop any communication with the offenders. Deactivate social media accounts;
  • Do not pay any money to the offenders;
  • Keep a record all communication with the offender as proof.
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