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Sextortion is a serious crime that exploits victims’ personal information and manipulates them into providing more. It’s a growing problem, especially in California where many people have access to the internet. To protect yourself from sextortion in California, it’s important to understand how it works and how to keep yourself safe online.
Extortion is defined as the unlawful exaction of money or property through intimidation and threats. This type of crime includes threats of harm to a person or their property, threats to accuse them of a crime, or threats to reveal embarrassing and reputation-damaging information.
Sextortion has become an extension of extortion, that involves the same case of threats of harm, however, the threats to reveal personal information consists of sexually explicit images or videos of the victim. Under California law, sextortion is not a single crime, although, a person could face charges for several other crimes, such as bribery, blackmail, extortion, child pornography (if a minor is involved), and cyberstalking,
Depending on the case, a person who commits sextortion can be charged with one of the several, if not all of the crimes I have listed above. Due to sextortion taking place over the internet, a criminal can be charged with a federal crime, especially when it involves a minor. If a child is coerced into sending explicit images or videos to an adult over the internet, that adult can face up to 30 years in federal prison.
Besides coercing victims into sending sexual content on their own, cyber hacking also plays a major part in online sextortion. If a criminal were to hack a victim’s computer or other devices, they are facing a felony conviction. This type of crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of sextortion in California is by being extra cautious when engaging with people online. Make sure any pictures or videos you share with someone are appropriate and that they are only shared with people you trust fully. Additionally, be mindful when engaging with strangers online, as perpetrators often rely on anonymity to successfully extort their victims.
It’s also important to know how to recognize signs that someone may be trying to extort you so that you can take action quickly if necessary. These signs include receiving messages containing threats, unsolicited requests for money or favors, and suspicious links that could potentially contain malware or viruses.
Lastly, it’s important to report any instances of attempted sextortion so that law enforcement can investigate the matter further and help protect others from falling victim as well. If you believe you have been targeted by an individual attempting sextortion in California, contact local law enforcement as soon as possible.
Sextortion in California is on the rise recently, but there are steps that everyone can take to protect themselves from becoming a victim. Be aware of your online activities, who you are communicating with online, and what kind of personal data may be vulnerable if released publicly. If someone does attempt to extort money out of you through sextortion tactics, contact local law enforcement right away so they can investigate the crime before it escalates further.
Finally, make sure all your accounts are secure with strong passwords and use two-factor authentication whenever possible. Taking these steps will help ensure that everyone remains safe when using the internet in California!
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