Cyprus Mail

Over 600 sextortion complaints in past few months

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A total of 604 people contacted a cybersafety website and helpline operated by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute in the last quarter of 2021, with the number of sextortion reports filed double that of the previous quarters, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Thursday.

As coordinator for safety on the internet in Cyprus, the Institute operates CYberSafety ( and the 1480 help line.

Of the calls to the 1480 help line, 262 or 43.40 per cent had no connection with services offered but involved requests for information on the pandemic and labour ministry grants.

Of the remaining 342 calls, 193 were from girls and women and 149 from boys and men. Only five were underage.

The largest number of requests – 30.12 per cent — concerned electronic crime, that is hacking or economic fraud. And 17.25 per cent of the calls concerned digital education, the highest figure in this category so far, reflecting the public’s need for digital skills.

Cyberbullying accounted for 14.62 per cent of the calls. The number of complaints regarding sexual harassment (sending of unsolicited content and comments, impersonation with intent to damage someone’s reputation through sexual harassment) was also higher, it said.

The number of complaints of sextortion accounted for 9.07 per cent of the total, and in absolute numbers was twice the previous quarters of 2021.

The help line on 1480 operates on Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm and from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm and on Saturday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.

They can also be contacted by email of [email protected] or electronically on or by chat

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