26 September 2023

Police issue warning against online extortions

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South Australia Police (SAPOL) is warning members of the public regarding online extortion offences.

In a statement, SAPOL said it had identified reports involving people sending intimate images or videos, who were then threatened into paying money to stop offenders from releasing those images or videos.

“These are serious offences known as ‘sextortion’,” SAPOL said.

“Victims as young as 16 years old, are been targeted through social media through random friend requests,” it said.

“From there, an exchange in messages takes place which develops into a request for intimate images or videos from the victim.

“The offender then threatens to distribute the images to the victim’s family and friends, unless a payment is made.”

SAPOL said another known extortion tactic used by offenders was through emails to a victim claiming they had been filmed visiting adult websites or performing intimate acts while online.

“To give some legitimacy to the claim, the email can contain an old password or username of the victim, that has been previously compromised,” it said.

“The victim believes the filming exists, although this is almost never true.”

SAPOL urged members of the public to stay safe online; avoid sending intimate images and videos online; refuse demands for payments; report criminal offences to authorities Cyber.gov.au and the eSafety Commissioner; and for young people to speak to a trusted adult for support.

Cyber.gov.au can be accessed at this PS News link and the eSafety Commissioner at this link.

Further information on scams affecting South Australians can be accessed at this PS News link.

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