Sextortion is a form of child sexual exploitation where children are threatened or blackmailed, most often with the possibility of sharing with the public a nude or sexual images of them, by a person who demands additional sexual content, sexual activity or money from the child. This crime may happen when a child has shared an image with someone they thought they knew or trusted, but in many cases they are targeted by an individual they met online who obtained a sexual image from the child through deceit, coercion, or some other method. In many cases, the blackmailers may have stolen or taken images of another person and they are communicating through a fake account. The blackmailer may have sent images as well.
NCMEC has seen a dramatic increase in sextortion cases being reported to our CyberTipline, especially financial sextortion where the offender demands money from the child. Teenage boys have been the most common targets in these recent cases.