Boys are increasingly becoming the targets of a cyber crime called “sextortion.”
Sextortion involves individuals being forced into sending naked photos of themselves. According to the Huffington Post, 30 percent of sextortion victims are male.
As a result, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection has started a new campaign, “Don’t Get Sextorted.”
The campaign further explains what is sextortion:
“Sextortion is blackmail. It’s when someone threatens to send a sexual image or video of you to other people if you don’t pay them or provide more sexual content.”
The campaign’s new weapon for preventing it? Naked mole rats:Screenshot/Don’t Get Sextorted
The campaign is urging boys who are being told by strangers to send them nude photos of themselves to send the naked mole rats pictures instead.
[gif_wrapper url=https://cdn1.ijr.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/GIF-SHANNON.gif width=’100%’ ar=0.54929577464789 background=https://cdn1.ijr.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/06/GIF-SHANNON.gif]
Why the naked mole rats? Executive Director Lianna McDonald explained:
“It’s brazen. But when you’re dealing with young people, you have to think creatively. If we’re not getting their attention, we’re not doing our job.”
The number of boys reporting that they have been blackmailed after sending naked photos of themselves is climbing, and it is the goal of the “Don’t Get Sextorted” campaign to prevent more boys from being coming victims.Screenshot/Don’t Get Sextorted
“We started to receive calls from very distressed kids panicked over what to do, because the threats were, ‘If you don’t comply, I’m going to send this to all of your contacts.’ They would think that this is only happening to me.”
Centre spokeswoman Signy Arnason explained most boys think they are talking to a teenage girl.
What do you do if someone asks for your nudes? Don't send a naked picture of you, send a naked mole rat instead! pic.twitter.com/zKvgT32KlD
— Protect Children (@CdnChildProtect) May 23, 2017
But really, they are being conned:
“As soon as the photo is sent, the blackmailing begins.”
Safety tips to remember so you don’t fall into this trap include:
- Live streaming can be easily recorded – don’t be fooled by thinking it’s live and therefore “no big deal.”
- Unless you know the other person offline, there is no way to verify who is on the other end.
- Pre-recorded video can be live streamed. For example, an adult could stream a video of a teenage girl, so you may think you are talking to a teenage girl in real-time.
- Trust your instincts, be skeptical and cautious. For example, if the person you are chatting with on cam has an excuse as to why their camera isn’t working then that person may be trying to hide their identity.
- Never comply with the threat – it will only make the situation worse.
McDonald wants the campaign to bring more attention to this problem and make it easier to talk about:
“We’re hoping that this character will be effective in capturing the attention of boys to bring widespread attention to the issue,. We want our communications to empower boys to think twice before sending a nude. The threat of ‘sextortion’ is scary enough, but having the conversation doesn’t have to be.”
If you or someone you know is the victim of sextortion, contact 1-866-658-9022 or go to cybertip.ca for immediate help.