Police are warning citizens to be vigilant against “sextortion” scams after an 18-year-old Middlesex County resident lost $4,000.
In this case, the complainant didn’t share intimate images, but was made to believe that their phone had captured images of them without their knowledge, OPP said Tuesday.
The suspect threatened to share the images with the complainant’s family and friends unless a fee was paid, prompting the complainant to send $4,000 to the scammer, OPP said.
Sextortion refers to when people send each other sexually explicit photos or videos and one of the parties threatens to share the content unless the other person pays them money. Often the person making the threats is using a fake profile on social media or dating websites, where they try to convince victims to record themselves performing sexual acts and share the photos or video.
Police reminded the public that there’s always a risk in sharing sexually explicit images and video online.
“Think twice before you send or post anything. Before you hit ‘send’ remember that you cannot control where this image or video may travel,” OPP said in a statement. “If someone starts demanding payment and threatening you regarding photos or videos, never pay the money, block them from all social media, screen shot messages they have sent you and immediately contact police.”
Victims of sextortion should contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
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