Since the spring of 2022, there has been a significant increase in cases of Financial Sextortion, where the offender obtains explicit content from a victim and then demands money or gift cards to prevent the offender from sharing this content with the victim’s family, friends, and peers. This crime of extortion, frequently perpetrated by organized crime groups in Nigeria or the Ivory Coast, targets young males through various social media using fake female profiles.
Victims of this crime are desperate to stop the offender from sharing their content, some paying large amounts of money, and yet the offender will continue to ask for more. Sadly, some became so desperate that they saw no way out of this situation and committed suicide. Consider how difficult it must be for a victims to come forward, admit they have made a mistake and ask for help. It is critically important that victims are treated with empathy and compassion, and offered the help they seek without judgment and/or criticism.
The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program has many resources available to assist victims of sextortion and law enforcement professionals who handle sextortion cases. There are also resources for those who want to educate and engage the public on this growing problem.
Sextortion is only one of many school safety issues we highlight on our Resources Page. Visit us regularly to find resources and updated information on issues that impact Arkansas students.