Police warn of sextortion scams

bc.rcmp.ca/newsroom

2022-11-15 10:13 HNP

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is issuing a public warning regarding an uptick of reported sextortion cyber scams. The scammers create fake social media accounts on such platforms as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to befriend their victims. The scammers then convince victims who may believe they are fostering an intimate relationship to send nude or sensitive images/videos of themselves. Once these images/videos are received, the suspect then demands money from the victim under the threat that the image/video will be disseminated to friends/family or members of the public.

Victims may feel fear and shame as the result of these sextortion scams which may have long lasting impacts on mental health.

In the last year, reports of these online scams have increased by 163% in the North Cowichan/Duncan area. Victims are predominately males and include 25% being youth.

The investigation and prosecution of these online offences is difficult as scammers often use techniques to protect their identity or may not even reside in Canada. Police are encouraging the public to use safe social media practices and to refrain from sharing nude or personally sensitive images and videos. Parents or guardians should closely monitor their children’s’ social media usage.

The details revealed in the case of Amanda Todd’s death highlight the tremendous impact online abuse can have on mental health. Social media awareness will prevent further victimization of our community by online scammers. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, says Cpl. Jennifer Morgan of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP General Investigation Section. 
 

Diffusé par :

Cap. Alex Bérubé
S.-off.-cons. de district (relations avec les médias)
District de l’île
2881, rue Nanaimo, Victoria (C.-B.) V8T 4Z8
Bureau : 250-380-6110
Cellulaire : 778-836-8153

Courriel : alex.berube@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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