Sending sexual images and sharing on web cams seems very harmless to both old and young people and is becoming normalised behaviour, however there is a dark side beyond the criminal and social impact that this may have and that is Sextortion. This is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam. In some cases the victim is unaware that they are being recorded and even that the camera is turned on for video. These recorded webcam images are used by the criminals to threaten with sharing them with the victims’ friends and family unless they are paid. Sometimes there are escalating requests for further payment. At least four suicides in the UK have been linked to this form of blackmail.
To help deal with the an issue the National Crime Agency has produced some useful advice in the form of a website and video. This behaviour can affect both adults and children in different ways
If a child or children are involved, we strongly recommend that you report directly to the local police or to CEOP and treat as a serious safeguarding incident, following the schools procedures for such events. This is highlighted in the new guidance issues by UKCCIS highlighted in our blog article http://blog.ict4c.co.uk/new-guidance-sexting/
If an adult is involved, report directly to the Police and the best advice is ‘Don’t panic’ – The police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence and will not judge you for being in this situation.
To see more of the guidance from the NCA follow this link.