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This Guide Is Intended For Teens, Young Adults, and Adults

What Is Sextortion?

Sextortion is a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim. Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the category of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of coercion.

As used to describe an abuse of power, sextortion is a form of corruption in which people entrusted with power – such as government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel, and employers – seek to extort sexual favors in exchange for something within their authority to grant or withhold. Examples of such abuses of power include: government officials who request sexual favors to obtain licenses or permits, teachers who trade good grades for sex with students, and employers who make providing sexual favors a condition of obtaining a job.

Sextortion also refers to a form of sexual blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors from the victim. Social media and text messages are often the source of the sexual material and the threatened means of sharing it with others. An example of this type of sextortion is where people are extorted with a nude image of themselves they shared on the Internet through sexting. They are later coerced into performing sexual acts with the person doing the extorting or are coerced into performing hardcore pornography.

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What is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group, or an organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten or harass.

Cyberstalking is often accompanied by real-time or offline stalking. Both are criminal offenses. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. He may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.

Scammers routinely use Cyberstalking as a means of both keeping track of their victims and as a way to coerce them to pay.
Cyberstalking is a criminal offense under various state anti-stalking, slander and harassment laws. A conviction can result in a restraining order, probation, or criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.

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This Is A Serious Crime, and Police WILL Understand.

It is a form of Blackmail!

You need to report it.

Police are not as good with Romance and Other Kinds Of Scams, But They Understand Extortion And Treat It Seriously. Police are well trained to help in these cases, they WILL help you.

If someone threatens you with sharing sexual photos or videos of you unless you send them more or pay them money, #SayNO!

Follow these steps

  • Don’t share more.
  • Don’t pay anything.
  • If they ask for more photos or videos, don’t send any more.
  • If you have already paid, check if the money has been collected.
  • If yes, take note of where it was collected from.
  • If no, cancel the payment – the sooner the better.

Many victims who have paid have continued to get more demands for money. In some cases, even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the explicit videos.

The only way it will end is to bring in the police!

Look for help. You are not alone.

  • If you are a Teen or a Child, this is NOT YOUR FAULT!
  • Look for an adult that you trust, or for your friends’ support.
  • Don’t face this problem on your own. Consider talking to one or more of the following – they will be able to support you:
  • Your Family: parents, brothers, sisters or any other relatives. Yes, they may freak out, but they will get over that quickly and help you get this solved.
  • Your Local Police – they are really good when it comes to things like this!
  • Your Friends (your friends may not know anything or think they know more than they really do).
  • Friends’ parents, teachers, carers, counselors, coach or leader of an activity group.
  • A helpline – even if you are NOT thinking about suicide, you can call a Crisis Hotline – they know how to help in these situations.
  • Preserve evidence. Don’t delete anything.
  • Save the messages exchanged, including any photos/videos that were sent.
  • Take screenshots of all your communications.
  • Write down all the details provided by the offenders, for example:
  • The details of the online communication platform (name, user ID, URL)
  • The payment site suggested and where to send the money.
  • Stop communication. Block the person.
  • Once you have all the evidence saved, block the person.
  • Check your other chats and social media accounts in case the offender tries to contact you via one of them.
  • Report it to the social media channel. Use the online reporting process. You can request to have inappropriate photos/ videos of yourself removed from social media platforms and search engines.
  • Deactivate your social media account, instead of deleting it (if possible). (There is a way to do this on Facebook in your Profile Setting)

This way, the data is preserved and will assist the police to obtain more evidence. You can reactivate it afterward, ensuring your online memories are not lost forever.

Report it to the police.

Contact your local police. They will take your case seriously, and deal with it in confidence, without judging you. Ask them for victim support, they will be able to help.

Just call the Police Emergency number, and say this is not an emergency as ask to speak with a Police Officer. Ask them if they can send an Officer to where you are that you need to report a crime, but do not want to talk about it on the phone. You can ask for a Female Officer if you prefer, sometimes that makes it easier to talk about what happened.

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Is your friend being extorted or coerced online?

Your friend might think there is no escape and will probably feel trapped. This is not true. There is help out there and you can help them find it:

  • Talk to them about how they are feeling. Listen to them. Advise them to talk to SOMEONE (if they are a Teen or a Child – to an adult) they trust.
  • Advise them to report it to the police. They will not be in trouble, they are a victim of a crime.
  • Whoever is doing this to your friend is committing a crime.
  • You Report it, so that the police can investigate the case and arrest the criminal. Even if your friend will not report it, it is your duty to do it for them. In the end, they will understand why you tried to help them.

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If your child, your child’s friend or someone that trusts you, is potentially a victim of online sexual coercion or extortion, there are organizations that can help. Start with your local police.


If your friend or family member that trusts you, is potentially a victim of online sexual coercion or extortion, there are organizations that can help. Start with your local police.


Assess the risks:

What did they share?

  • Was it a photo, video or personal information when chatting?
  • Are they embarrassed by the content? If so, why?
  • Could the information be used to locate them?
  • Was it shared with someone they have never met face-to-face?

Find out what they know about the person?

  • Ask if they have felt threatened or uncomfortable in any way.
  • If they have been asked to share sexual photos or videos, or they are being extorted for money, this is illegal and the crime should be reported to the police as soon as possible.
  • Was it shared with friends and then the extortion happened?
  • Is your friend or family member worried about what they will do with the information?

Never worry that someone else will get in trouble. If this is not an organized criminal, then you are helping the other person avoid more serious problems in the future if they keep doing this.

How was it shared?

Explore how it began. Ask how the contact started, in which platform were they first approached, and how have they been communicating with the person. Find out how many people might be able to see the content the child has shared.

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Take Control. Offer your support.

The child is a victim and needs to be comforted and reassured.


The extortionists may have told them incredible things and threats. You need to tell the child that NONE of that was true, it was just a threat, and you are going to get help and people to protect them (the police)

Follow the advice mentioned in the article and take steps to make sure they don’t become a victim again. (Our advice change your child’s phone to a Flip Phone – as dumb as you can find!)

In the case of children or teens, if a schoolmate is using personal information online to bully the child, you should speak to their school urgently. If the pressure comes from a peer outside of the school environment (sports activities, a neighbor, etc.), you should approach the police and let them contact the relevant responsible adult, for instance, a trainer or parent.

If you are in a position of trust, encourage the child to disclose the information to their parents and offer to be a facilitator or “go-between”. If possible, try to get someone else to chaperon or sit in with you and make notes.

Tips to encourage the child to talk:

  • Make sure they know they can trust you.
  • Give them time and space and listen attentively to what they say.
  • Don’t judge.
  • Ask them if there is something, in particular, they need you to do.
  • Let them know that if they would rather talk to someone else, that’s fine, and help them to arrange that conversation.

Remember, if this is NOT your child you have a RESPONSIBILITY TO BRING IN THE POLICE. If the child does NOT want you to tell the parents, then don’t – let the police do it. BUT YOU MUST BRING THE POLICE INTO THE DISCUSSION WITH THE CHILD BY LAW.

Learn More Here:


SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated


A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.


TAGS: coercion to extort sexual favors, cybercrime, Cyberstalking, NOT YOUR FAULT, offline stalking, online crime, Online Fraud, Sextortion, sexual blackmail, sexual exploitation



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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBI ( »)
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network HERE » or on »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.

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SCARS™™ is the official victims' education & support publication of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams™ Incorporated [SCARS]™ It is edited and published by the SCARS Team. SCARS is a government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization, based in Miami Florida U.S.A. Its founder has been involved in combating online fraud since 1991. SCARS™ - the Society of Cit