Sextortion is a cybercrime where predators use social media networks, apps or gaming platforms to establish contact and build relationships with their victims. Posing as a teen, the predator pretends to spark romantic interest the victim, who is often a teen themselves, and manipulates them into sharing explicit photographs or videos. The new "friend" then threatens to expose them and share these photos with their family and friends unless they send money. 

Unlike traditional sextortion, where predators blackmail victims into providing additional sexual images, financial sextortion involves blackmailing the victim into sending them money. Despite the amount the victim pays, it is never enough, and the criminal's scheme continues.

Here are some helpful tips to protect yourself and loved ones from sextortion:

  • Never share personal information online.
  • Stay alert for suspicious behavior, such as unsolicited friend requests, messages from unknown individuals or requests for intimate content. 
  • Do not take photos or send explicit content to anyone.
  • Remember, the blackmailer is to blame. It’s a crime, and it’s not your fault.
  • Do not pay money or otherwise comply with the blackmailer. Paying money rarely stops the blackmailer.
  • Report the account via the platform’s safety feature.
  • Block the suspect but DO NOT DELETE your profile or messages because that can be helpful in stopping the blackmailer.
  • Report the crime to law enforcement or Report.CyberTip.org .


Broward Sheriff’s Office


South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force


Report any child sexual exploitation or harassment to Report.CyberTip.org