Disturbing Extortion Trend Leads to Warning

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Victoria, BC – A disturbing online trend targeting individuals in our communities, prompts a warning from the Victoria Police Department.

 

The individuals targeted are contacted by an anonymous person via social media, who claims to be of financial means.  The targeted individuals will be asked to take compromising images of themselves and then send those images to this anonymous person, again via social media.  In return, the targeted individuals are promised large sums of money.  The anonymous person is convincing and has been successful in obtaining images on occasion.  No money has ever been known to have been exchanged.

 

Personal information of the targeted individuals, obtained via on-line profiles that are not secured or controlled, is then used in an attempt to extort further compromising images. This includes threatening to send the images already obtained to family and friends. “The anonymity provided by the internet means that these investigations are often very complex and difficult to investigate” explains Detective Cst Justin Munro of the Special Victims Unit. “We encourage anyone who receives this type of request to ignore it and to report it to their local police department.”

 

It is important to make sure that your online identities are secure, you restrict information that is posted on social media and you ignore unsolicited requests for any information from unknown parties. Parents also need to be involved in their children’s social media presence. To learn more about this disturbing trend and to learn ways to protect yourself and your family online, visit: <https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/internet_safety-sextortion>.