Sextortion is using threats to force someone to engage in sexual activity. For example, threatening to publish compromising pictures on the Internet and using that threat to force someone to engage in sex is engaging in sextortion. The FBI has recently published information on this type of activity. It is for this very reason that I caution everyone to never send any sexually explicit photographs over the Internet. Men and women, in the course of a relationship, may exchange sexually explicit pics by way of chat, texting or emails, never once thinking that this may come back to haunt them in the future. Later, those same pics may be used to force one partner or the other to continue the relationship or perform sex acts against their will. Teenage girls are particularly susceptible to this type of manipulation and should never send explicit pictures to anyone.
There is also a scam running now on the Internet dating sites. In the course of text and email exchanges, men will receive a “naked” or suggestive pic of what appears to be a hot young woman in a provocative pose. The woman will trick the man into sending a penis pic. A week or so later, the man will receive an email, a text or a phone call from a person pretending to be a police officer. The “detective” will tell them that they have been communicating with a minor and threaten prosecution. This is absolutely a scam. The “detective” will tell them that the case can be resolved with a payment for counseling. The unsuspecting victim will be instructed to send a money order or make some type of payment to avoid prosecution or avoid exposure. As a sex crime lawyer here in Sarasota, I have gotten many calls from men on whom this scam is being run. It is not the police. It is a trick to get you to send money. I have reported this to the police but they will do nothing. The problem is that local police departments simply are not interested. They cannot clearly establish where the scam is being run from, and claim they have no jurisdiction.
If you find yourself a victim of this type of scam, get as much information about where the payment is supposed to be sent and then contact your local law enforcement department.
Be very careful on Internet hookup sites like Backpage.com. Married men are susceptible to being shaken down for money with the threat of exposure of infidelity. This is particularly true if there is evidence in the form of pics, videos or sexually explicit texts. The Internet is a dangerous place and never send anything that will later be a source of blackmail. This is also true when it comes to the homosexual dating sites. The threat of being “outed” is used as a shake down for money. Be careful with Skype. If you are doing a live Skype be absolutely certain that the person on the other end is an adult. Demand verification of age. Skyping with a minor can land you in State prison for fifteen years. The bottom line is never do anything with anyone that could even remotely be a minor. There is a whole world of adult partners out there. Sex with an underage partner will destroy your life.