MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Threats in the community come in many forms, and Marines should always
conduct themselves in a professional manner. One threat Marines should
be extra cautious of are scams over the Internet called "sextortion."
"When Marines go through safety stand downs or receive briefs on
awareness topics, they should pay attention and listen," said Todd
Battaglia, Navy Criminal Investigative Service Field Office Carolinas,
assistant special agent in charge. "These briefs are made because they
address an ongoing problem that has happened to a Marine at some time in
Marines are advised to not give out personal information online or
information that can be harmful if a third party were to intervene.
Schemes online can involve multiple people to fake necessary roles to
"Sextortion involves an individual establishing a relationship with a
Marine, online or in-person, that eventually turns intimate," said
Battaglia. "Following certain acts by a Marine, usually involving nudity
which is recorded, the individual, or someone acting as their "father,"
attempts to extort money from the Marine. The extortion usually
involves a demand for money so the recorded nudity will not be forwarded
to the Marine’s command."
If a Marine encounters any situation of this nature they are to immediately notify NCIS and their chain command.
"I believe every Marine knows when they encounter an obvious criminal
threat usually a choice is involved, either doing what is legal or doing
what is illegal," said Battaglia. "If it feels like a bad place to be
or bad thing to do, it probably is. While the majority of our local
community is supportive of all Marines, there is a small segment that
has no problem leading Marines down the wrong path."