By Ginger Kadlec — get free updates of new posts here.
Tweens and teens around the world are falling prey to an online criminal epidemic — online enticement, also known as sextortion.
Sextortion is a form of digital blackmail where victims are coerced into sending sexually explicit images (or videos) to a perpetrator who uses threats (blackmail) regarding the release of those images and then extorts additional images from the victim. Sometimes, sextortion extends to monetary payment from the victim or even in-person sexual acts.
To gain a clearer understanding of just how sextortion works, I invite you to watch this powerful :90 second PSA produced by The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The NCMEC also reports that, “Sextortion most commonly occur(s) via phone/tablet messaging apps, social networking sites, and during video chats.” Additionally, the organization shares stats about sextortion victims, including:
- The average age for a sextortion victim is 15
- Typical age range for females = 9-17
- Typical age range for males = 12-17
Sextortion most commonly occur(s) via phone/tablet messaging apps, social networking sites, and during video chats. It is estimated that 78% of sexual predators use sextortion with the end goal being to collect additional photos of their child victims. While some extort money or actually meet the child in person for the purpose of sexual assault, most build a library of images and videos that they can view and also share with other predators.
Learn more about sextortion, an ongoing FBI criminal investigation and what a cyber crime expert, Det. Sgt. Chris Cecil of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Indiana State Police has to say about protecting children from becoming sextortion victims.
Raising awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse has become Ginger’s life mission. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and trained child forensic interviewer, Ginger regularly blogs about child protection issues. Along with her husband John and pets Lexi and Chase, Ginger enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking, brisk mornings, colorful sunsets and just hangin’ at home with “the Pack”.
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