Big increase in cases of sextortion cases during lockdown

Figures released by the Federal Economy Department show a huge increase in the number of reported cases of so-called sextortion during the month of April. Sextortion is a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favours and/or from victim.

Social media and text messages are often the source of the sexual material and the threatened means of sharing it with others.

Some fraudsters also threaten to block their victim’s computer so that it can no longer be used until they pay up. During April the Federal Economy Department received no fewer than 1,300 reports of this type of fraud, an average of well over 40 cases per day.

In an interview with the Sunday free-sheet ‘De Zondag’ a Federal Economy Department Spokesman said “The important thing is not to respond and certainly not pay. They don’t have any images or photos and they have mostly obtained your particulars from a publicly-accessible databank”.

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