A rising number of young men in Australia are falling victim to online “sextortion”, the head of the country’s internet safety agency has warned, bucking a global trend of primarily targeting vulnerable women and girls.Seven out of 10 victims of sextortion – a form of extortion that involves sexual acts or images as its currency – in Australia were men, according to the office of Australia’s eSafety commissioner, a government agency.Many of them were foreign male students who were eager for companionship after they arrived to study at universities, with official figures showing more than half of the victims were aged between 18 and 24.“It’s absolutely a thing we’re seeing. It’s very concerning,” said eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, who leads the office, which bills itself as the world’s first government agency tasked with keeping citizens safe when online.Many victims visited social media or dating sites in an attempt to make new friends, but were then coaxed into sharing intimate images of themselves and blackmailed by criminal gangs later.Victims are often lured into a “sexy Skype or Facetime” call and asked to pose sexually, said Inman Grant.“When that happens, they are extorted for money. Once they have paid, the scammers… Read full this story
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