Coquitlam RCMP warn of increase in sextortion cases

Do NOT share nude or personal sensitive images and videos online!

 

COQUITLAM RCMP on Friday warned the public of a recent increase of sextortion cases.

In recent months, police have been receiving a large number of money-motivated sextortion reports where both male and female youth are being targeted. According to Cybertip!ca, there has been an 150% increase in youth being sextorted between December 2021 and May 2022. Cybertip!ca is a Canadian tip line for reporting online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

In these incidents, a suspect often begins a flirtatious online relation with the victim. Once the relationship has been established, the suspect convinces the victim to engage in sexually explicit activities, such as sending a nude photo or videos of themselves. Once received, the suspect threatens to distribute the photos or videos to the victim’s family and friends unless a payment is received.

These highly-sophisticated and well-organized criminals use the nude images or videos to threaten, intimate and coerce the victim, who is most often a child or youth, into sending the suspect’s cash or gifts cards.

“The suspects rely on the fear and shame in order to extort anything they can from the victim who may be too afraid to seek help” said Media Relations Officer Cpl. Alexa Hodgins. “When youth are involved, they are often to afraid to speak to their parents and attempt to deal with the extortion themselves. We want those victims to know that it’s okay to ask for help by speaking with an adult.”

The suspects use techniques to protect their identity and do not always reside within Canada, which makes it difficult to investigate and prosecute. Coquitlam RCMP are encouraging the public to use safe social media practices and to refrain from sharing nude or personal sensitive images and videos online. Parents and/or guardians should closely monitor their children’s social media usage.

Visit Cybertip!ca for more information.

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