New country, new people, new challenges.
Min-jun recently moved to Australia as part of his university degree. He liked his studies, but it was definitely hard getting used to a new city, a new country and a language he was still learning.
He met lots of people, but it was not always easy to make friends. He found dating even harder.
Often enough, he found it easier to meet and hang out with people online.
A woman he had never met contacted him on Facebook. She was beautiful, worked at a doctor’s office and was also a young foreigner living in Australia.
They chatted at first through Facebook Messenger. Then she asked if he would like to talk on a video-call.
She called him and things became sexual very quickly. She took off her clothes and he did the same. Suddenly the call ended. The woman sent him a link which showed a video of Min-jun masturbating during their call. She’d already published it online by creating a live website. He was shocked.
She texted him demanding he transfer her $1,000USD for her to take the video down.
Min-jun didn’t know what to do. He felt so exposed and ashamed.
How could he tell anyone about something so embarrassing and private?
He didn’t text back. The woman then threatened to send the link to all his Facebook contacts and upload the video to Facebook.
The woman kept contacting him. She only wanted $800USD now and said it was because her mother needed an operation. She started messaging him every hour.
The next day Min-jun told a friend what had happened. The friend suggested he talk with the university counselling service.
Min-jun spoke with the university counsellor and she told him it was not his fault. She said the university had been seeing this happen to many students, especially young men.
She advised him to contact eSafety.
What Min-jun wants others to know
Once Min-jun reported the website and his image-based abuse experience to eSafety, the video was quickly taken down. He was so thankful that the eSafety Commissioner was able to assist.
He still had no idea if the woman had really been based in Australia, or if anything she said was true. He was not even sure if the woman from the Facebook profile was the same one in the video-call.
He knew he had been taken advantage of. At the time, there was a part of him that thought it was all too good to be true, but he had been feeling lonely and pushed those thoughts to the back of his head.
He knew he would have to be extremely careful whenever someone he didn’t know contacted him online — especially if it was a beautiful woman who wanted to take off her clothes.
Min-jun was a victim of sextortion.
Sextortion is a form of blackmail where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images of you online unless you give in to their demands. These demands are typically for money, further intimate images or sexual favours.
If you are a victim of sextortion, or know someone who is, please report it to eSafety.
*Min-jun’s story combines the experiences and emotions of a number of individuals in this situation. Stock photo. Posed by model.