FBI experts say that this year “sextortion” brought scammers more than $8 million

FBI experts and sextortion

Experts from the FBI Internet Fraud Complaints Center (IC3) spoke about the activation of fraudsters in the field of the so-called “sextortion”.

To denote such activity, the term sextortion is used, derived from the words sex and extortion. This tactic involves intimidating users: as a rule, such scammers send out spam, in which they try to convince their victims that they have some compromising images or videos, and demand a ransom.

According to IC3, in the first half of 2021, users lost approximately $8,000,000 due to such attacks. That is, as of July 31, law enforcement agencies received more than 16,000 complaints, almost half of which were submitted by victims in the 20-39 age group. For comparison, for the entire 2020, there were about 23,000 such complaints.

Victims over 60 years old make up the third highest reported age group, while victims under the age of 20 made the least number of complaints.FBI analysts said.

Law enforcers write that sometimes attackers change tactics and, in more rare cases, do not demand money as a ransom, but additional explicit images and even sexual services.

Most victims report that the initial contact with the scammer was mutual, through dating sites or apps. Soon after they meet, the scammer offers to transfer communication from the site or from the application to another messaging platform. There, the fraudster initiates the exchange of sexually explicit material, and then encourages the victim to take part in a video chat or send their own sexually explicit photos. Immediately after the victim agrees, the scammer begins to blackmail it and demands money to prevent the publication of these photos or videos on social media. Often, the attacker gains access to social networks or the victim’s contact information and threatens to send images to the victim’s family and friends.

The FBI reminds that users should not send anyone incriminating images, regardless of how the person introduces himself and what he says. Also, do not open any attachments and links obtained from untrusted sources, while electronic devices and webcams should be turned off if they are not in use.

Let me remind you that we also talked about the fact that List of suspects in terrorism that are monitored by the FBI leaked to the network.

By Vladimir Krasnogolovy

Vladimir is a technical specialist who loves giving qualified advices and tips on GridinSoft's products. He's available 24/7 to assist you in any question regarding internet security.

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