Consultant Solicitor | Criminal Law

A rise in sextortion claims

In the ever expanding sphere of cybercrime, there is now an increasing awareness of the growth in alleged ‘sextortion’ claims. Sextortion refers to a practice whereby an individual is blackmailed online, normally through social media, as a result of either engaging in sexual acts during video chats or by sharing sexual images of themselves.

In general, international gangs pose as young women and encourage men to engage in sexual activity during video chats. The footage is secretly recorded by the gangs who then threaten to release it, to the individual’s employer and/or social media contacts, unless the man pays a ransom.

By its very nature, sextortion is considered an under-reported crime and the numbers of incidents reported to Gardaí are quite low. However, Cyber Risk International believe that some Irish companies involved in cyber crime security receive up to 15 reports of sextortion a week.

Individuals accused of, or connected with, sexual offences face unique challenges. The social stigma and publicity surrounding such cases involves dealing with extreme perspectives, heightened emotions and complex, life changing decision making. Should you, or an employee within your organisation, encounter sextortion, our expert team can provide advice and support when you need it most.