A cyber-safety expert has explained a new sextortion scam targeting teenage males.
Sunrise host Monique Wright was outraged to learn of a new sextortion scam targeting teenage boys, as cybersecurity experts issued an urgent new warning for parents to be on the lookout.
The mother-of-three became furious during a chat with cybersecurity expert Susan McLean on Friday.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Monique Wright outraged over online scam targeting teenage boys.
Susan joined Monique at Brekky Central, explaining how kids are being extorted by predators online — they exchange nudes with the teen only to then demand money to not publicly release the private images.
“I found this just so concerning, particularly now in the holidays when kids are spending more time online,” a clearly outraged Mon said.
“So with the extortion attempts, they might just ask for $10 — so something that a teenage boy or any kid might be able to get access to — they get $10 from a thousand kids, that becomes very profitable for these disgraceful extortionists.”
Susan agreed, explaining how the scam mostly targets teenage boys — with predators impersonating attractive young women to make the initial connection.
“The (fake) account will look like it’s a very attractive young girl of a similar age then the young boy will take the connection — they accept a friend request — then the chat will start,” Susan explained.
Susan said most boys don’t request a nude photo. Instead, the fake account will send a nude with the implied pressure to send a naked or partially naked photo back.
“(The boy) gets very excited that he got a photo and then the pressure is to send one back. Once the offender has that sexual image of the young person, the extortion starts.
“These are unemployed criminal gangs — even $10 is a good day of work for them.
“(But) they will start high. They will ask for two, three, four, five thousand dollars,” Susan said.
The cyber expert said she knew of a young Adelaide man who paid out a staggering $3,000 to get his photos back — money he was saving to buy a car.
“They’ll barter you down and they will, as you say, take $10 be it an iTunes card or some other way of transferring the money,” Susan said of most of the scammers.
Kids Helpline warned last year about 78 per cent of contact from young males was those distressed at being threatened with the release of intimate images.
“What we are seeing through contacts to Kids Helpline is increasing cases of teenage boys who are highly distressed after being threatened with the release of intimate images if they don’t hand over, in some instances, thousands of dollars,” CEO Tracy Adams said.