Sextortion and how to prevent it

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Cyber Crime Response Agency receives many calls per week from individuals reporting that an online sexual encounter took place, with the opposite sex on camera. These situations typically result in the other party threatening to post private images of the victim online, unless that victim pays an amount of money.

A lot of the reportees we receive are worried that they’ve committed a type of crime. This could be further from the truth. As long as both parties involved understand that both are legal adults, anyone can have any type of encounter with another.

So how exactly do these suspects find their victims? Many of them search Facebook for random Facebook accounts, while others post in personals online. On Facebook, it typically starts off with a random friend request from the opposite sex. Once the account owner accepts the friend request, the suspect will then attempt to entice and encourage the account owner to come on camera, to engage in sexual activities. The threat can occur at any time, from the middle to the end of the encounter. Threats typically consist of statements that videos or pictures have been saved and will be posted or sent to family, if an amount of money isn’t sent.

Humiliating, right? So how can you avoid these types of situations? Simple! Don’t have them. Although crimes aren’t being committed by having the encounter, you have to take into consideration, the possibilities of threats. Should you fall for these types of crimes, do not make payment to anyone, for any reason, no matter how severe the threat is. In our experience, 95% of suspects to threaten, do not actually follow through with their threats. Why? Because they have nothing to gain from it.

You can make reports of these situations to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Facebook alert: Video Sent in Message

Cyber Crime Response Agency would like to advise and warn all Facebook users that a current hacking attempt is ongoing. The hacking attempt will appear in the form of a video, sent to you on messenger. The video will appear with your profile picture and your name. Do not click on this, as it will cause your account to be disabled. According to Facebook Help Page, there is no suggested fix for this at the moment.

Soldier turned online predator, arrested

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A U.S. Army soldier stationed at Fort Campbell was arrested Wednesday in Clearwater, Florida, on allegations he was sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl, according to a news release from Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Peter Matlock, 23, Fort Campbell, was charged with three counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic device, one count of certain use of computer services or devices prohibited and one count of unlawful use of a two-way communications device.

According to the sheriff’s office, the victim informed detectives Dec. 7 that she had a 10 month relationship with Matlock that had turned sexual in nature. The relationship, and texts messages, is alleged to have taken place between February and November.

Matlock communicated with the victim through Facebook, Skype and text messaging, the detective said, and obtained nude photos from the girl. It is also alleged the two engaged in simulated sex on video using Skype.

Matlock was aware of the victim’s age, the release says, even discussing the potential criminal consequences of his actions.