Twentynine Palms -- According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Sextortion is a cybercrime in which a victim is seduced and coerced into a video call and convinced to perform sexual acts for the viewer. The call is secretly recorded and later used to exploit the victim into sending the perpetrator money to keep it from being released.
NCIS is raising awareness of sextortion amongst Marines and sailors aboard the Combat Center.
“The perpetrators target young service members,” said David Hammell, family and sexual violence investigator, NCIS. “They know that service members have steady income. They will threaten to put the video online and send it to the victim’s family and friends.”
Two ways to keep oneself from becoming a victim of this crime is to keep social media accounts private and to only accept friend requests from individuals you actually know. The perpetrators often use applications such as Tinder and LotsofFish to find their victims and then bring them to video-chat programs like Skype.
“Many of the individuals attempting this scam are people in other countries,” said Denis Weldon, special agent, NCIS. “There are several red flags that people should look out for, such as profiles of attractive individuals who have very few friends. They also may speak broken English, and may not appear when in the video call.”
According to Hammell, anyone being threatened by sextortion should not give in to the demands and inform your chain of command as well as contacting NCIS. If you believe that you have been a victim of sextortion, call NCIS at 760-830-6275.