DOJ warning vs ‘sextortion’: | Inquirer News

DOJ warning vs ‘sextortion’:

Avoid strange men online
By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 04:09 AM March 04, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Never talk to strangers, especially on social network sites.

This was the reminder issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday as it cited the “growing problem” of “sextortion,” or a racket in which online predators threaten “to publish the victim’s nude photo or video of sexual activity if money is not paid.”

“More Internet users are subscribing to social media websites without protecting their personal information and allowing online strangers into their network. This type of crime in cyberspace is as real as any real-world extortion,” said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.


Assistant Secretary Geronimo Sy, the head of the DOJ Office of Cybercrime (OOC), reminded Internet users to be more cautious about what they post online.



Prevention is the key

“The old adage ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ continues to be relevant in modern times. Any photo or video will always be accessible on the Web. Prevention is the key to avoid [being] extorted [from],” he said.

The justice department noted how “an increasing number of individuals [were] being victimized,” citing recent operations of the OOC with the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group and Interpol against organized sextortion groups.

Last year, a 17-year-old teenager in the United Kingdom killed himself after a group operating from Manila threatened to release his online sexual encounters unless he paid them. Around 50 members of the sextortion gang were later arrested in raids conducted by the PNP.

Describing the modus, the DOJ said the group starts by befriending victims online using fake identities.


“Upon gaining the victim’s trust, the offender lures the victim to perform a sexual act and secures a picture or a video of the sexual conduct. The offender then threatens to circulate the material unless the victim pays a certain amount of money,” it added.

The scheme constitutes the charge of grave threat and, if the extortion is successful, may also be considered a robbery, both punishable under the Revised Penal Code. Sextortion is also punishable under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 and the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The DOJ issued the following reminders so that online users can protect themselves against sextortion:

  • The public [should] be cautious in sharing private information online and watch out for suspicious social media accounts;
  • School authorities and parents need to be vigilant to guard minors from the dangers of the Internet and to educate them;
  • Any person with knowledge of sextortion violations should report it at once to authorities, and
  • Internet service providers and telecom firms should help lawmen prevent and investigate cybercrimes.
TAGS: DoJ, extortion, Geronimo Sy, Sextortion

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.