Rugby player blackmailed over explicit content and told his career would be ruined

An increasing number of rugby players are being targeted by an online blackmail scheme that sees scammers threaten to leak explicit photos and videos of them unless they hand over large sums of money.

Known as “sextortion,” the elaborate plan involves victims sending sexual material to con artists, who frequently take the form of female models asking to trade pictures. When they have the photos, they demand hundreds of pounds or they would leak them to the public or even family members.

Athletes are being more and more targeted due to the spate of high-profile victims that have occurred in recent years. According to Telegraph Sport, “more and more” rugby players, professional football players, and cricket players have fallen victim to these con artists.

The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) hired attorney Matt Himsworth to handle harassment on social media, informed the publication that the number of complaints had “risen significantly” That’s something I have had to help RPA members out more and more with.

“This is not just targeted at sports people but they are targeted at young men and dealing with classic internet crime of shame. It is interesting that women get shamed when sex tapes get leaked; men get shamed when pictures appear of them masturbating.

“They will look at an individual’s vulnerabilities,” he stated. It’s possible that you come from a traditional, devout household. or in case you have an open profile. They are depending on their embarrassment if you are a rugby player, and I have experienced this with one guy. They say things like, “We are going to ruin your career.” Their unique weakness is that they have thousands of followers on Instagram and a public profile with a blue tick.

Mr. Himsworth, an employee of the B5 Consultancy organization, further clarified why victims should resist the demands of the con artists because resolving the problem with big money payments does not

and is actually the worst thing one can do in that situation. “If you give them £300 then they will be back for £500 next week,” he added. “They move on to the next victim quite quickly if they realise they are not going to be paid.

“I once had a rugby player who was a bit of a lad-in-the-bar type cliche who was being blackmailed and he said to them ‘do what you like’. Of course, that was the best thing he could have done because without that level of shame, the blackmailer moved on to the next victim.”

The lawyer’s firm is also employed by the RPA to help combat social media abuse, an issue that is in the headlines more than ever after death threats were sent to referees Wayne Barnes and Tom Foley after the World Cup final and England captain Owen Farrell announced he was stepping away from international rugby to focus on his mental wellbeing.

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