Dear parent/ carer,

RE:  financially motivated sexual extortion 

All schools in the UK have recently been sent information from the National Crime Agency,  raising awareness of the recent rise in reporting of financially motivated sexual extortion ( a type of online blackmail often known in the media as ‘sextortion’).  Children and young people worldwide are being targeted.

This type of crime involves an adult offender ( often from an organised crime group based overseas)  threatening to release nude or semi-nude images and/or videos of a child or young person,  unless they pay money,  or meet another financial demand,  such as purchasing a pre-paid gift card.

Victims of any age and gender can be targets,  however a large proportion of cases have involved male victims aged 14 to 18.

A child or young person is never to blame if they have been a victim.  Offenders will have tricked,  groomed and or manipulated them into sharing an image.

 Find out more about online blackmail on

Please find further information below on financially motivated sexual extortion this is provided by the National Crime Agency. They have provided a wide range of resources although please do contact the pastoral team at educational diversity if required.

Talking to your child about online blackmail

Having regular, open and non-judgemental conversations with your child can create trust and support your child to seek your help if something happens to them online. Here are some tips:

  • Chat regularly. Talk to them often, make these ongoing conversations part of your family life. The more relaxed and calm you seem, the more open your child will be to talking to you about their online life, and coming to you for help if they need it. Try talking about stories you have seen in the news or on TV about online blackmail and whether it’s something they or their friends are concerned about.

  • Talk about where to find age appropriate information about sex and relationships. It is natural for young people to experiment with their sexual feelings online. However, it is important that your child knows that offering or accepting money for image sharing and sexual activity online is not healthy relationship behaviour. CEOP Education’s website and organisations such as Childline and Brook have age appropriate advice on topics such as sexual communication and image sharing within healthy and unhealthy relationships.

  • Ensure your child knows they can turn to you for support. Let your child know that they can come to you for help with any online concerns or incidents that are worrying them. Suggest other trusted adults or sources of help they can go to if they feel they can’t talk to you, this might include talking to Childline.

  •  Make sure your child knows where to report. Empower them to know where to go to report concerns. Remind your child they can report concerns, including online blackmail, directly within an app or platform they are using. If your child shared a nude image because they were threatened, pressured, or forced to, or you believe your child is being groomed or is at risk of sexual abuse you should report to us at CEOP. For more information, read our article on when and how to make a report to CEOP.


Yours sincerely,

Vic O’Farrell