RCMP are investigating an extortion scam after two Red Deer men were "lured into compromising online encounters" by strangers on the internet.

Police say both victims were approached online in October by women.

The women lured the men over the internet "and then threatened to post the images online unless they were paid by their victims," Red Deer RCMP said in a news release Wednesday.

Neither victim was defrauded of money, police said. In both cases, the women halted communication with their targets after the men informed them they were reporting them to police.

RCMP suspect there may be even more cases of this type of extortion happening in the community, but victims "may be too embarrassed to report it."

Furthermore, investigators say these online profiles are usually fake and the scammers live in different countries, making prosecution impossible.

Police are reminding those surfing the internet to protect themselves by using privacy settings on their social media accounts and remaining cautious of strangers, who may be misrepresenting themselves.

And their final tip?

"Do not let anyone — friends or strangers — talk you into doing anything that you wouldn't want your family, your employer or your friends to see," police said.

"Remember, your online actions do not disappear."