Richmond RCMP is warning the public about the dangers of internet chat rooms after four people came forward claiming that they were targets of extortionists after exposing themselves online.
All four victims are young men between the ages of 15 and 20 who were convinced, by what they thought were women, to expose themselves in live video chats.
According to Cpl. Stephanie Ashton, media relations officer for the Richmond RCMP, all four men were contacted within hours of the chats by someone demanding money in exchange for not revealing the video to their family and friends on Facebook.
No money was ever paid, says Ashton.
Police been investigating the incidents for a month, and have traced the internet provider addresses of the would-be extortionists to foreign countries.
Ashton says these cases are a reminder that online activities can affect people’s lives long after they’ve left the chat room.
"Richmond RCMP would like to remind all residents to be cautious about whom they chat with online and to ensure they protect their public image by making better choices about what they share," says Ashton.