Sexting scams and safety tips
First, what is sexting? Sexting is sharing explicit or intimate pictures and/or videos through messaging or other digital means.
Sexting, like any other form of sexual experience, is not ever 100% risk free. There ARE ways to reduce risk.
- Always get consent! Just like in the physical world, sexting requires consent. Make sure you have clear consent before taking/recording, sending, or sharing sexually explicit messages with someone.
- Ensuring your privacy is important. Some lower risk ways to sext include cropping out your face and any other distinguishing features (like birthmarks, tattoos, etc).
- Don’t include identifying information in photos – like your name, school, or location.
- Practice Clear communication and setting boundaries with the people you choose to sext. Talk about what you are or are not comfortable receiving, if/when the photos can be shared, and how photos should be safely stored or deleted.
Nationwide, there has been an increase in teenagers and young adults experiencing sextortion (threatening to publish or leak explicit sexual photos, videos and messages if the victim doesn’t send money) and other online scams. Please be mindful of the following sextortion red flags when interacting with people online.
- Person does not have a working camera: The person you are talking to does not have a working camera, but they still want you to share yours.
- Fast-paced contact: The person contacts you immediately after they follow you and quickly tries to get you to send images or join a video call.
- Use of fear: The person you are talking to uses fear tactics to attempt to get you to pay them money.
- Low number of pictures: The person’s profile has only a few photos available.
- Numerous misspellings: The profile has common words misspelled.
- New profile: The profile is new and does not have a lot of followers/friends.