UK

Sextortion cases reported to revenge porn helpline double in a year

Cases of sextortion reported to the UK’s revenge porn helpline have almost doubled within a year, new figures show.

Sextortion is now the most reported issue with 1,124 cases in 2021 compared to 593 in 2020, with 88% of cases involving a male victim.

Sextortion occurs when images or videos are captured or sent during an online sexual exchange, and the victim is extorted and blackmailed for their intimate content.

The number of cases in relation to all intimate image abuse increased by 40% from 3,146 to 4,406 last year according to the helpline.

The UK banned the sharing of explicit images without consent in 2015.

Revenge porn cases have “exploded” according to helpline practitioner Zara Roddis as scammers became more aggressive during the pandemic and called victims ‘paedophiles’ as a tactic.

She revealed one victim who called the helpline started talking to a Facebook account that appeared to belong to a woman who shared mutual friends with him.

More on Social Media

He accepted a video request where a compromising video was recorded without his knowledge that was used to blackmail me.

He said: “They demanded money for their ‘sick son’ or they would leak the video to everyone on my Facebook friends list- even going as far as finding my mum’s Facebook profile and making a group chat with her in.

“I was so stressed out and panicked that I ended up giving them £200…but that didn’t stop them from asking for more money.”

The charity believes the reports are a fraction of the true number of sextortion cases as there is a “huge amount of shame” around becoming a victim to scammers who are usually overseas organised crime groups.

Details of victim’s followers, friends and family contacts are taken by the scammers before threatening to share the images or videos in attempt to make quick cash.

In 80% of the cases the perpetrator was a criminal gang, but 11% involved a current or former partner.

The helpline added the threats “are very real, but the content is rarely released”.

Read more:
Woman whose explicit images were viewed 48,000 times online without consent says victims ‘suffering in silence’
Revenge porn victims have doubled in last two years, figures suggest

The helpline received almost 1,000 calls last year from victims who did have their image released, with almost four out of five (79%) of them women.

According to The Revenge Porn Helpline 65% of victims who made reports to police said they received a negative response and a third of the cases were dropped by victims for reasons including lack of anonymity and trust police despite the suspect being identified.

A Council spokesman for the National Police Chiefs said: “These crimes can have devastating consequences for victims, especially young men, who make up the majority of those affected.”

They added the teams carrying out sextortion cases have come “increasingly sophisticated in their operations over the past decade”.

Articles You May Like

Eiffel Tower riddled with rust and in need of full repairs
Freeze-Dried Mice Successfully Cloned by Researchers, Could Help Conserve Disappearing Species
More than 100 live animals found in women’s luggage
How online searches and texts can put you at risk in a post-Roe world, and how to protect yourself
‘Halo’ devices save drivers in two separate horror crashes in F1 and F2 at Silverstone