RCMP Warn of Facebook ‘Sextortion’ Scam
The RCMP is warning the public of a social media scam involving sextortion, following reports of several incidents in the province.
The scam, commonly known as sextortion, begins with victims being lured into an online relationship through friend requests on Facebook.
As the relationship builds, victims are encouraged to perform a sexual act on camera or take intimate photos of themselves and forward to the scammer, who then threatens the victim with releasing the photos or video to Facebook friends and family unless a fee is paid.
In some cases, the scammer also claims to be underage and threatens to call the police.
Corporal Kent Luther of the Tech Crime Unit says that the easiest way to protect yourself from this type of scam is to avoid accepting friend requests from people you do not know on Facebook.
Police say they haven’t had a lot of complaints about this activity, we also believe it is likely underreported, as those who are victimized are fearful because of the extortion tactics and may feel ashamed that they engaged in a sexual manner via social media.
If you feel you are a victim of such a scam, immediately stop all forms of communication and do not comply with the threats. Contact your local police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (toll free 1-888-495-8501).