Home News ‘Sextortion’ on the increase in Malaga

‘Sextortion’ on the increase in Malaga

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A surge in reports in Málaga has prompted the Provincial Commissioner to caution the public about the risks of falling victim to sextortion and related offenses. In addition to providing advice on avoiding becoming a target, the police encourage individuals to report incidents if they have been affected.

The National Police emphasize that sextortion is a criminal activity involving the blackmail of a cybercriminal to manipulate a victim’s will. The most common scenario involves obtaining compromising images and threatening to make them public unless the victim pays up or provides new material.

The primary tools for luring victims are dating sites and social networks. After the initial contact is made, the next step is to persuade the victim to accept the cybercriminal’s friend request or follow them. Once the relationship is more established, the extortionist gains access to images that victims have provided in good faith. However, the perpetrator will use them to threaten to share them with the victims’ acquaintances or even publish them on pornographic channels, social networks, or well-known video-sharing platforms.

The Provincial Commissioner has identified an increase in this type of criminal activity. L.O.

Sexual blackmail can occur either for financial gain or to obtain more sexual material, referred to as grooming in the case of minors, which can be used to create child pornography.

Another common criminal behavior is sexting, defined as “the mere posting or dissemination on social networks of images or videos containing sexual content, with or without authorization, which can be used harmfully. One motivation for sexting is revenge.”

Tips from the National Police to prevent such incidents:

• Guard your own image. Do not share intimate images via social networks, instant messaging apps, etc. Once sent, you permanently lose control over them.

• Protect yourself by covering the cameras of digital devices when not in use, and remember that the person you are online with may be recording.

• Keep the installed applications on your mobile phone and the antivirus software on all digital devices up to date.

• Do not share personal passwords and change them regularly. Make sure they are secure (avoid using dates, family names, license plates, etc.).

• Do not provide additional information to strangers that could be used for harassment.

• Do not yield to blackmail.

If you are already a victim:

• If you are a minor, seek help from a trusted adult.

• Preserve evidence. Do not delete anything (images, messages, conversations, screenshots, etc.).

• Note any information that could help identify the alleged perpetrator.

• File a detailed report explaining everything that has happened and provide all the evidence you have.

• If you feel you need psychological help, do not hesitate to seek the support of professionals.

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