Tips to keep yourself safe from online sextortion
2022-08-22 11:09 PDT
Sextortion, the practice of extorting money or sexual favors from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity, is on the rise and Prince George RCMP is providing tips on how to keep yourself safe.
The scam involves the victim being befriended online by someone, typically someone unknown to the victim. The new person then asks the victim to send nude photos or videos of themselves performing a sexual act; once this is done, the victim is then told to send money or more content. They are told that if they do not comply with the demands, the photos and/or videos will be sent to their friends, family or coworkers, or will be distributed online.
Of the incidents that are reported to police, many of the victims are young males in their teens and early twenties, states Cpl. Jennifer Cooper, Media Relations officer for the Prince George RCMP.
It can be very scary for someone who is being targeted like this. We are urging the public to educate themselves on the dangers of sharing intimate images and videos of yourself online, particularly with people you have never met.
Between January and July 2022, Prince George RCMP received 30 reports of online sextortion. This is an increase from the same period in 2021 by more than 50%.
Here are some safety tips to help you stay safe online:
- Remember everything online is
instant, public and permanent
- Don’t accept friend requests or chat with people you don’t know in real life
- Use the platform’s privacy settings to limit the information you broadcast on social media
If you are the victim of a sextortion scam, it is important that you stop all communication immediately with that person and do not give in to their demands. Deactivate the accounts that you are using to communicate with that person and, most importantly, reach out for help and report it. Call your local police and contact NeedHelpNow.ca and Cybertip.ca for support.
Cpl. Jennifer CooperCommunications NCO / Media Relations Officer
Prince George RCMP
455 Victoria Street, Prince George, BC, V2L 0B7
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