Sexual extortion

Sexual extortion – sometimes called 'sextortion' – is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share intimate images of you unless you give in to their demands.

People are often targeted through dating apps, but they can also be targeted using emails. An example of this is when someone claims to have obtained intimate images of you and threatens to share them unless their demands are met. Depending on the situation, these demands could be for money, more intimate images or sexual favours.

What are the warning signs?

  • Things don’t add up — the profile of someone you met online is not consistent with what you see and hear when you engage with them.
  • Your contact makes excuses — they say their webcam is not working so they can’t chat on camera. Instead they send a nude photo which they claim is of them.
  • They say they need help — your contact says they need money for a personal emergency like medical treatment, to cover rent or even to travel to Australia.
  • You receive an email threatening to share an intimate image of you — this is a typical scenario that involves the sender claiming to have a video of you watching pornography.

What can I do?

Find out more about how to deal with sexual extortion if someone is threatening to share intimate images of you. Sexual extortion is a form of image-based abuse. Our image-based abuse pages have information on how to take action, get support and find legal help if an intimate image is shared without your consent.

What is sexual extortion?

Sexual extortion