Mumbai: Cops warn citizens of sextortion, says 43% cases involved computer hacking

Maharashtra Cyber Department on Thursday issued an advisory warning citizens against sextortion cases. Sextortion is a serious crime that occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material such as images of sexual nature if you do not provide them (fraudsters) money.

"Many people online are not who they are. Don't talk to people you don't know online. Understand that any content procured on a web enabled device can be made public. If you are being threatened or coerced online, tell someone who can help you out. Make use of privacy settings on your social media profiles. Sexual extortion, also called ‘sextortion’, is a kind of blackmail. The perpetrator demands sexual favours, money, or other benefits under the threat of sharing intimate or sexually explicit material," said a Maharashtra Cyber official.

According to a study of sextortion cases done by the police, 71 per cent of sextortion cases involve only victims under the age of 18; 14 percent of cases are a mix of minor and adult victims and 12 percent of cases involve only adult victims. The study further revealed that social media manipulation is used in 91 per cent cases involving minor victims and computer hacking is used in 43 per cent of cases involving adults.

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