Vital+Vectors

Sextortion

synopsis

Sextortion is a form of blackmail that has become increasingly more prevalent in recent years with the popularization of the internet. It is a crime that defies political and geographical boundaries. Anyone with an internet connection can be a perpetrator, or a victim. In fact, it's not uncommon for the perpetrator to be in one country, and their victim to be in another. That’s why your predator may be your neighbour, friend or someone that lives in a country halfway around the world from you.

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What is sextortion?

Sextortion is defined as:
The act of using sexually explicit material and experiences obtained from a victim to exploit them for further sexual favours (and in a looser definition of the word, for money or property as well).

Think of it as “extortion” or “bribery”, but specifically with sexual exploitation. A predator threatens their victim if their demands aren’t met. The threat may be physical harm, the publication of compromising images, and/or hurting the victim’s loved ones. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the most common threat was to publish sexually explicit material online for the general public or for the viewing of the victim’s family and friends. Another common threat was to release secretly recorded videos of the victim during chats. The ultimate goal of predators is to either obtain more sexually explicit material, to get money, or to have sex with the victim.

Cyberbullied lego girl running away.
Cyberstalking leads to feelings of constant fear and abandonment.

When dealing with cyber crime in particular, sextortion does not normally involve physical coercion. All coercion is done via communication through email, texts, video chats, forums and social media sites. It is mainly blackmail and the threat of harm that predators use to control a victim. The sexually explicit material is usually obtained from either:

  1. Tricking the victim into believing that there is some type of romantic relationship with the perpetrator, so the victim willingly provides material via computer or “sexting”, the transfer of sex-related photos and texts via cellphone. In this situation, perpetrators don’t have to be tech-savvy—they just have to know how to gain your trust with believable lies.
  2. Hacking the victim’s computer or phone to steal their material and information. A level of technical ability is required here.
  3. Installing malware on the victim’s computer to stealthily operate the webcam. The perpetrator can then control the webcam to record the private activities of the victim in their home. Again, some technical ability is necessary to do this.

Your predator uses sophisticated technologies to hack your computer and install malware. Vital+Vectors uses the same sophisticated technologies, but to obtain information of your predator that can be used for purposes of prosecution no matter where they’re located.

Sextortion statistics:

Currently, there have been no formal statistics compiled for online sextortion because it is often lumped together with other crimes, such as cyberbullying and cyberstalking. When minors are involved, laws governing child pornography come into effect. However, we have found that:

In the US, The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force reports that the number of child enticement complaints has increased from 5,300 in 2010 to 7,000 in 2013.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that children are particularly vulnerable. According to statistics compiled from 2013 to 2014, 76% of reported incidents involved females (9-17 years old) and 11% involved males (12-17 years old). The average age of victims was 15 years old.

Free Yourself From the Control of Your Predator:

Sextortion can have a devastating impact on your life. You are living in constant fear of being hurt and shamed, or may have already been hurt and shamed and continue to be. It’s time to free yourself of your predator’s control. Contact Vital+Vectors now before it’s too late. You’ll find out within the first 10 hours of our investigation whether you’ll have a positive result or need to prepare for a longer term plan.

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