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News | Feb. 1, 2017

CID Lookout: Army CID Warns of ‘Sextortion’ Scams

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit (CCIU)
cautions Soldiers to be on the lookout for “Sextortion scams” where criminals will try to engage
in online sexual activities with unsuspecting service members, and then demand money or favors
in exchange for not publicizing potentially embarrassing information.

Officials describe “sextortion scams” as cyber sexual extortion in which perpetrators conduct
schemes that leverage those sexual acts for financial gain or other forms of blackmail.

Once the Soldier sends a compromising photo or participates in a video chat, the perpetrator threatens
to send those images to the Soldier’s command, family, and friends unless “hush money” is paid,
according to CID special agents. Officials caution that Soldiers may be prime victims because they
want to protect their career and out of embarrassment, they may reluctantly give in to the financial or
other demands of the extortionist. CCIU agents added that this particular scam is sometimes effective
because once the perpetrator gets the unsuspected Soldier to perform some sort of virtual sexual act
with an “attractive person” on the Internet, while they are secretly recorded, the true nightmare begins
because they are now more likely to be blackmailed for those compromising images.

“Be cautious of your online communications and do not share intimate, personal information with
strangers or people you have never met in person,” said Special Agent Daniel Andrews, director of

Unfortunately, these incidents continue to occur across the globe, and sextortion victims are
encouraged to seek the assistance of law enforcement.

“Victims are at risk of further exploitation, which can include demands for additional payments, more
sexual images, sensitive military information, or access to U.S. Army systems and facilities, so early
notification to law enforcement is important,” Andrews said.

If you have been the victim of sextortion, please adhere to the following:
• DO NOT send money to the scammer(s). CCIU is aware of instances where scammers
threatened to release videos unless a second or even third payment is made.
• DO NOT continue to correspond with the scammer(s).
• DO preserve whatever information you have from the scammer(s), such as social networking
profile, email accounts used, where money was directed to be sent, etc.
• DO notify CCIU at or 571-305-4478 to report being a victim if
you are a service member or an Army civilian employee. If you are not associated with the
military, report the crime to your local police department, DHS Homeland Security
Investigations at, or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint
Center at

For more information about computer security, other computer-related scams and to review previous
cyber-crime alert notices and cyber-crime prevention flyers visit the Army CID CCIU website at