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Our teens have discovered a new type of blackmail: 'Sextortion'.

Sextortion. It happens more than you think

By ANONYMOUS

My teenage daughter has recently fallen victim to a Cyber danger known as Sextortion.

Sextortion – No, I’d never heard of it either, nor had the local police. But thanks to Susan McLean – CyberCop – we soon had a wealth of information and case studies to back up our concerns.

The first thing that my eldest daughter knew of this threat was a surprise inability to access her Hotmail. “I think my account has been hacked, Mum.”

After changing the password she managed to access the account.

She was greeted with an email that contained a montage of images built around her Facebook cover page. The images included a topless photo of her and a snapshot of key family member email addresses. It also featured her school and work details.

This montage image was emailed to her along with the threat that if she did not immediately forward nude photos, the image would be sent to her entire email list.

Wow! That is horrendous.

Yes, obviously I have warned my daughter – almost on a weekly basis – never to take compromising photos of herself. However, it seems that hormones have the louder voice. These relatively harmless topless photos were taken over a year ago and remained in her sent email folder.

The hacker has simply searched her computer, come across these images… and Bingo… instant blackmail material.

I can’t imagine what went through her mind when she found the email, but after talking to one friend, she immediately phoned the police.

One hour later, after receiving a further email from the hacker insisting that she send nude photographs or they would send the image, my daughter sat down and showed me what was happening.

She also immediately deleted her Facebook account.

She assured me there were no other images.

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However, the threat of sending this image to family and friends was not really of a major concern, we can talk to them. It was more the so called ‘friends’ and work colleagues who may receive it and use it as ammunition to bully her in real life that concerned me. Also we would have to contact the school. So we were anxious to see if this Cyber criminal would follow through on his threat.

IP address tracking showed they were likely to be in USA, but also likely to be diverting that IP address to Microsoft head office in Redmond, Washington.

This unknown person has managed to hack into her personal and ‘private’ email account – search every email, then search her Facebook account for other details.

They immediately contacted my daughter again when they saw she had deleted her Facebook account (as this seems to be the main way the hackers build the profile and then threaten the victims). They said, “You win, I wasn’t going to send the photos, just trying to get pics”. Safe to say she has not replied to this message.

This has been an terrible experience for our family. It is absolutely sickening to think someone has randomly hacked her computer and then threatened her and tried to frighten her into creating nude images.

If this happens in your home, I hope your child will have the courage to contact the police or talk to you immediately without being intimidated by the hacker and find themselves in a worse situation.

So we are waiting for Interpol to go through their investigations. We have had no further information from the Police.

These hackers have been operating in the USA for quite sometime and many young girls have fallen prey to their threats. Here’s hoping this education and awareness will stop them reaching their evil goals and girls will simply not reply, reporting them straight away.

Please share this information with any other parents you know with kids online.

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