What is Sextortion?

Sextortion is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share intimate images of you online or offline unless you give in to their demands such as money, more intimate images or sexual favours.

What are the Warning Signs of Sextortion?

Sextortion usually happens on hook-up or dating apps like Grindr or Tinder. Perpetrators of sextortion act as if they are people genuinely looking for dates, sex or even love.  They make it difficult to know that they’re trying to bait you into sending explicit pics or videos to eventually blackmail you with but there are some warning signs: 

  1. Something does not add up — their online profile is not consistent with what you see and hear when you talk or chat with them.
  2. It happens too fast — they express strong emotions for you almost straight away, and pressure you for explicit pics or videos. 
  3. They make excuses — they say they can’t facetime or send a video and instead send a photo which they claim is of them.
  4. Asking for explicit pics & videos that features your identifying features such as your face or tattoos.
  5. If they’re too good to be true, they likely are!

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Sextortion?

  • If you’re taking explicit pics or videos to send to others: try to avoid including your face, tattoos or any identifying features. 
  • Many hook-up apps or messaging services use ‘expiring photos’ choose this option when sending pics or videos.  

Here’s how you use ‘expiring photos’ on Grindr:

What to do if you've been threatened with Sextortion?

  • Call the PSNI immediately, or if you need support to do so please contact our advocacy officer (028 90 319 030) 
  • Do not panic. Your case will be taken seriously and dealt with in confidence. You will not be judged.
  • Do not talk any further to the offenders.
  • Do not pay. The offenders often post the videos or images anyway
  • Take screen shots of any communication. Keep it as evidence.
  • Remember, it is not your fault and you have not done anything wrong.
  • Report the user on Grindr or whatever app you’re using

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