Top Holiday Scams & Security Tips To Avoid Them: Blackmail & Sextortion

So, you are on vacation and things are moving on with someone you have met & hooked up with. While you are testing the waters or fooling around, they want you to send them some pictures. Then some more, then a few more. Slowly (or quickly) wanting them to get sexier and more revealing.

In some rare occasions, this can lead to cases of blackmail, coercion and exploitation… after getting details and background info on you and some compromising pictures; scammers pass this information onto other thieves / criminal groups who have been known to threaten to send the pics to family or all your Facebook friends if you don’t either send them more – or pay them off.

These scams have been around for many years, and in all likelihood will not be going away any time soon. These scams are commonly executed remotely by people you have not met but claim to have naked or compromising images of you. The play becomes more sophisticated in nature where they convince you that they really do have the goods on you by revealing some secret pieces of information that only you would know (a password, contents of a message thread between you and a friend etc). The pivot here, is where the gangs follow through on the threats is rare but becoming more widespread.

Very basic warning when you find that this might be starting when getting closer to someone – is that when sending intimate pictures to people, try to use best judgement if you REALLY trust that person with the content. Granted; this is not always easy to do after a drunken night at a bar or club. Think if you would be happy to have your friends, family and work colleagues see these then fine; but also consider the knock-on effect. Would any of your friends, family or company bosses be happy having images of you like that posted publicly ? You might be a free-spirited exhibitionist – but would that be damaging or hurtful to others.


Read more of our Holiday Safety Tips here