Police warning about social media extortion

submitted by Alberta RCMP

Alberta RCMP has received a number of reports throughout central and southern Alberta where social media platforms were used in an effort to extort money from individuals.

In a number of cases, the victims received friend requests from what has been typically a female, or other messages on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and/or on a dating application, that subsequently moved to direct messaging on various platforms. The victims involved have sent a nude image(s) and the suspect(s) subsequently made demands that the victim sends them money or their image(s) will be sent out to all of their contacts, friends and/or family.

It is common for offenders to follow a victim’s friends and family on social media platforms as a way to demonstrate they can follow through on threats to share the image(s) if the victim does not comply.

Beware that offenders are utilizing filters available on certain apps that allow them to appear younger than they are on images and also on live streams.

Prevention Tips:

  • Do not accept friend [requests] from individuals who are unknown to you
  • Do not send nude images
  • Immediately stop all communication if someone is demanding money
  • Do not comply with the threat and report to your local police
  • Keep the correspondence

For further information visit dontgetsextorted.ca and needhelpnow.ca for resources on how to manage instances of sextortion and sexting, as well as where to turn for support. For more information on offender tactics and warning signs, go to cybertip.ca/sextortion.

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