Ok, this wasn’t something I had on my 2023 bingo card – “Sextortion”. But I really shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. In this day and age of ever expanding online scamming, hacking, and spamming, lonely people looking for a connection really are an ideal target for people with no scruples and a desire for quick money.
So what is “sextortion”? From the article:
“…scammers are known to use sophisticated tactics to ensnare and exploit unwary love-seekers, engaging in what is increasingly known as “sextortion.” This worrying trend sees deceivers using emotional leverage to coerce individuals into sharing personal and often sensitive information or images, which can then be used as a means of extortion”https://www.forbes.com/sites/traversmark/2023/11/10/is-online-dating-making-you-an-easy-target-for-sextortion-a-psychologist-explains/
I remember when scam emails claiming to have “hacked my web cam” started doing the rounds a while ago. The email claimed they had video of my doing unmentionable things and were going to share the videos of me with my family and friends and work colleges if I didn’t pay them a sum of bitcoin.
At the time I had a bit of a laugh about it because my webcam isn’t plugged in unless I’m using it, so it was clearly just a shotgun spray of emails to thousands or millions of email addresses in the hope of finding a few people who could be convinced to hand over money.
Clearly the tactics have evolved (even though I still get the “webcam scam” emails occasionally). So since many of the women I meet are actively using dating sites, or planning to, I think this is a good topic to cover.
I think that most people are aware of the basics of online safety, but it bares repeating in this case – be careful, trust your instincts, if something feels off (or too good to be true) then walk away.
Stay safe out there!