In March 2015, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in the North East Region have responded to two separate incidents involving sextortion. This Sextortion Scam involves the victims being lured into online relationships through various social media, online dating or pornographic websites.
These fake profiles are typically created by subjects posing as attractive women, targeting males. As the relationship and rapport builds, the subject will request a webcam chat session. The victims are then enticed to perform a sexual act, which the subjects record using video recording software. The victim is then advised that the event was recorded and unless a sum of money is paid the video will be released, made public and sent to contacts on their social media networks sites.
The best way to combat this ‘Sextortion Scam’ is by public education. Some steps to help victims protect themselves include:
Beware of unknown persons who attempt to communicate with you over the internet;
Deny any request to perform an illicit act over the internet;
Never send money;
Users can report abusive activity using a number of methods:
Written complaints from affected users; these are often provided via online forms or sent by email.
Users can also hit the ‘flag’ button on an abusive video and enter the reason for the flag (for example – sexual content) or enter a short description.
You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report it online at http://www.antifraudcentre.ca
These scams have been reported across the province and not limited to the North East.