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National Crime Agency issues alert: Financially motivated sexual extortion

Today 30th April 2024 the National Crime Agency has issued an alert to all Educational Establishments.

Globally, there has been a large increase in reports of children and young people being forced into paying money or meeting another financial demand (such as purchasing a pre-paid gift card) after an offender has threatened to release nudes or semi-nudes of them.

This is financially motivated sexual extortion, a type of online blackmail often referred to in the media as ‘sextortion’. It is a form of child sexual abuse.

Financially motivated sexual extortion is usually carried out by organised crime groups (OCGs) based overseas who are typically motivated by money. These groups target all ages and genders however, a large proportion of cases have involved male victims aged 14-18.

Following the alert as a minimum we will ensure:

  • All staff receive a safeguarding update including:
    • Recognising the signs of this form of abuse
    • Understanding how to respond, including not using “victim blaming” language
    • Supporting young people if they fall victim to this crime
  • Increased awareness across the organisation:
    • Displaying posters around the centre
    • Educating all learners on the subject with class discussions and links to relevant websites
    • Providing a newsletter update to all stakeholders
    • Sharing this news item across our social media channels

Further information and links to key resources for financially motivated sexual extortion can be found on UK Safer Internet Centre website. If you have a concern you can report to one of our Safeguarding Team. You will also find links to support websites on our learner support page.