FORT SILL, Okla., April 25, 2019 -- During Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Fort Sill Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) representatives are meeting with local students and organizations to talk about sextortion.

According to the Army Criminal Investigation Command, "Sextortion is a serious crime where someone threatens to expose a sexual image in order to make a person do something or to seek revenge or humiliation."

Most of these cases start off harmless as the criminal seeks to build a relationship with the victim.

These interactions eventually lead to the exchange or transfer of sexual imagery and videos.

Once they have compromising, identifying (face, tattoos, etc.) imagery or video, the criminals will then begin to threaten and make demands.

The threats can vary from professional to legal exposure, and demands are generally for monetary compensation or additional pornographic material.

Approximately 440 troops have already reported being victims of this crime with an estimated $560,000 being paid out to the perpetrators.

According to Scott Roseske, special victims investigator, the targets of these crimes are generally young, single Soldiers away from home for the first time.

While these might be the most commonly reporting victims, people of all ages are engaging in risky behavior that could lead to sextortion crimes.

In one survey by the American Psychological Association, over 80 percent of respondents ages 18-82 reported sexting within the past year.

Emily Stasko, the author of this study, stated that this was a "prevalent behavior that adults engage in for a variety of reasons."

With any of these related behaviors, it's important to understand that once something passes through the internet it's there forever, said Roseske.

Even photos that you never intended to send on your phone can be hacked and someone you once trusted could go as far as sharing the pictures you sent as a form of revenge (revenge porn).

It is recommended by CID and SHARP that if you believe someone is trying to extort or blackmail you online, report to law enforcement authorities immediately, do not send money, stop communication, save all communication, save phone numbers, and scan all devices for viruses.

If you would like to have someone educate your Soldiers on this or related topics, call Leslie Watts, Installation SHARP program manager, at 580-558-0115 or CID at 580-442-5856.