91% of sextortion victims are male and 79% of sextortion incidents occurred on Instagram and Snapchat
THE New Westminster Police Department on Thursday warned of an increase in sextortion cases targeting boys and men.
These victims are contacted on social media platforms by someone using a fake account and typically posing as female. They set their location to be somewhere near the victim and ask the victim to send sexually explicit photos, then threaten to release the illicit images unless a ransom is paid.
Demands for money often come from international organized criminal networks, say police. According to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, 91% of sextortion victims are male and 79% of sextortion incidents occurred on Instagram and Snapchat. In New Westminster, the number of sextortion files rose from 12 in 2021 to 29 in 2022.
“Victims rarely have any idea what to do. They’re in a state of panic and are often dealing with tremendous fear, shame, and significant financial loss,” said Sgt. Andrew Leaver. “We believe this is an underreported crime and we’re asking anyone who is a victim of sextortion to report it to police.”
The New Westminster Police Department recommends that victims get help instead of paying money or complying with the fraudsters.
Investigators also suggest that victims block the fraudster, but not to delete any messages or your social media profile and then speak to someone they trust.
Victims can the contact New Westminster Police Department by calling 604-525-5411.