NCIS reminds Marines to remain aware of digital, local threats in the community

18 Aug 2016 | Lance Cpl. Tavairus Hernandez Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

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 the past."

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 intimidate Marines.

"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."