RCMP Cautioning Public on Sextortion
The RCMP are cautioning the public of incidents of sexual extortion.
It typically involves threats made to expose or share a sexual image of a victim publically with others if the victim fails to either pay a monetary sum or to provide further sexual images or videos.
Some of these cases involve victims who meet the perpetrators online through social media or dating apps and form an online relationship. The victims share nude images or videos, believing they are engaged in a mutual relationship. The photos and or videos are later used by the perpetrator for the purpose of extortion.
Other cases involve a person who receives an email claiming their computer has been hacked. The email received indicates that nude or intimate images and sexually explicit videos of the victim, and/or pornographic sites the victim, has allegedly visited, have been obtained.
The victim is told to send money or to purchase bitcoins under the threat of having nude or sexually explicit videos of them distributed to family and friends. In these cases, it not believed that the perpetrator actually has access to nude photos or videos or any other information from the victims’ computers.
Police advise against sharing or distributing nude photos or videos and recommends that webcams or any other cameras connected to the internet be disabled when it is not in use. Selecting a complex password for all personal devices and accounts and changing them frequently, as well as keeping anti-virus software up to date, is also highly recommended.