UK Schools Receive Sextortion Alert

UK Schools Receive Sextortion Alert

The National Crime Agency has alerted schools across the UK around the surge in cases of financially motivated sexual extortion. This crime, commonly known as 'sextortion' in media circles, involves coercing individuals into paying money to avoid the sharing of intimate images or videos. Individuals targeted may also be pressured into providing further intimate content or complying with unwanted demands. Typically orchestrated by criminal gangs operating outside of the UK, sextortion poses a threat to individuals of all ages and genders.

What's Included in the Alert?

The alert offers insights into identifying signs of financially motivated sexual extortion, along with tailored guidance on how professionals and parents can offer support to young people. It provides parents and guardians with strategies for discussing the issue with their children and outlines advisable responses to incidents and concerns. Emphasising the importance of reporting, the guidance highlights behaviours such as blocking contacts, ceasing communication, and refusing to comply with extortion demands. Additionally, the alert highlights various online reporting platforms, including Take It Down, Report Remove and as valuable resources for seeking assistance.

David Wright CEO of SWGfL said:

“Alerts such as these are essential practices to highlight the severity of online issues affecting children and young people. Financially motivated sexual extortion is targeting individuals regardless of their age or gender and professionals, parents and carers need the support and the tools to effectively respond to incidents and concerns. Our Revenge Porn Helpline is finding that it is young adult men who are victims of financially motivated sexual extortion who can use to help discharge the threats they are experiencing.”

Additional Support

To support the alert, the UK Safer Internet Centre has prepared a new online issue advice page to provide additional guidance and resources that can support schools, parents/carers and professionals with how to respond to incidents involving financially motivated sexual extortion. As well as this, there is a fully prepared list of supporting resources from our partners, as well as external organisations, that provide wider support around the issue and can provide additional advice if required. This includes our own resources such as So You Got Naked Online, and The Professionals Online Safety Helpline

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