Some people, especially minors, do not always practice Internet safety and are easily manipulated. They do not know who to trust, and they might be inclined to give in to pressure brought upon them by others. These people can find themselves the victims of sextortion crimes.
What is sextortion?
Sextortion is a type of extortion that is perpetrated on the Internet. In a sextortion crime, the aggressor will deceive or manipulate someone online to provide them with sexually explicit self-images or videos. If the target of the sextortion refuses to provide further images or videos, the aggressor will threaten to expose the previously provided sexual images to get the target to provide more sexually explicit images.
Sextortion on the rise
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported an increase in “sextortion” crimes in the United States due, in part, to the use of artificial intelligence in image creation. AI-enabled sexual images can be hard to distinguish from true images. The FBI reports that minors are sometimes the target of AI sextortion crimes.
Sextortion is a serious crime
Sextortion is a serious crime, as it is both an Internet crime, extortion and a sex offense. It is a federal offense, and if it involves a minor, a person could face decades in prison and hundreds of thousands in fines.
The Internet has many uses, but some will use this technology for nefarious purposes. The victims of sextortion will not face criminal charges for creating sexual content online as they were essentially forced against their will to do so, especially if they are minors. But the aggressor of the sextortion can expect to face significant charges if arrested.