First off, let me say that I really don’t like using portmanteaus like ‘sextortion’ or ‘sexting’ in a headline. Unfortunately these phrases have become so commonplace I’ve no choice but to use them in order to grab someone’s attention.
Anyway, in the past I’ve posted about how online predators will try to extort children for explicit pictures of them over social media. While it’s more commonly reported with children this kind of blackmail can happen to adults too.
For example an Indiana woman was on the dating and social app Skout. She had begun chatting with a man who called himself ‘John Alani’. The man asked the woman for a nude pic and she obliged. As you can probably surmise that’s when things started going to hell. It didn’t help that she also sent him a picture of her driver’s license and social security number. In case you didn’t know by now those are two of the biggest red flags when it comes to being scammed. The man then started threatening her saying that he now had her kids’ names and threatened to have her sent to jail if she didn’t pay him over $3,000. He said that he had other women sent to jail. The victim refused and the man said that if she didn’t wire the money to Nigeria he would have her arrested for murder. Nigeria is the other big red flag when it comes to online scams since it’s the birthplace of such internet scams as the 419 scam.
While social networking apps and sites repeatedly want us to use our personal information for their gain I still say that you should be very guarded with who you choose to share that information with. You never know what you’re opening yourself up to.