‘Sextortion’ calls reported in Georgetown

Investigators say Snapchat or Instagram users obtain compromising photos or videos from another user and blackmails them with threats of posting the images

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – Georgetown Police are warning people after receiving reports of ‘Sextortion’ in the community.

The practice is where a Snapchat or Instagram user obtains compromising photos or videos from another user and blackmails them with the threat that if they don’t pay them money, they’ll post the images to all of their contacts and followers.

Police say the practice takes on different forms, but at its core, it’s the threat to expose sexual images to make a person do something.  Investigators say these threats come from strangers met online and once intimate romantic partners try to harass, embarrass and control victims.

Police offer the following tips and advice:

Cease contact: Every situation is different. Sextortionists who are motivated by financial gain usually do not distribute images. The best first line of defense is to end all contact.
Block: Immediately block the person on your social media pages, email, and phone.
Do not pay: If the person requests money, do not pay them. This will likely increase the threats and extortion efforts of the person attempting to receive money.
Collect evidence and document communications: This will help in your effort to file a police report.
Beware of expensive cyber-recovery scams: These scams claim to be able to access the images and destroy them. Often, this is another layer to the overall sextortion scam.
Consider deactivating your social media accounts: If you are being contacted across multiple profiles, it may be beneficial to temporarily deactivate your accounts.
NEVER send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are or say they are.
Do not open attachments from people you do not know. Links can secretly hack your electronic devices using malware to access your private data, photos, and contacts or control your web camera and microphone without your knowledge.
Turn off your electronic devices and web cameras when not in use.
Remember, you are not alone, as this scam victimizes thousands.
Stop all interaction with the extortionist and do not be embarrassed or afraid to contact law enforcement.
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