Email sextortion scams are on the rise and they’re scary — here’s what to do if you get one

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Overall, extortion by email is growing significantly, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Compliant Center (IC3). Last year, these complaints rose 242% to 51,146 reported crimes, with total losses of $83 million.

“The majority of extortion complaints received in 2018 were part of a sextortion campaign in which victims received an email threatening to send a pornographic video of them or other compromising information to family, friends, coworkers or social network contacts if a ransom was not paid,” according to the FBI

“Shame can be a tremendous weapon that these criminals use,” one expert explains.

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