OPP warn of sextortion scam targeting men

Ontario Provincial Police in East Algoma are investigating three separate cases of an online sex scam involving blackmail.
OPP are encouraging victims of sextortion to report it to police. (Getty Images)

Ontario Provincial Police in East Algoma are investigating three separate cases of an online sex scam involving blackmail.

Constable Bev Gauthier says the first complaint came from Elliot Lake in early December, while the other two are from Blind River.

She says the victims are all male and were targeted on Facebook, dating sites or pornographic sites.

Gauthier says the scammers work to blackmail the victims.

"The scammers will request a webcam chat session typically over Skype, and then the subjects then typically show the victims a pre-recorded video of a woman disrobing, which the victims believe to be a live woman," she explained.

"Then the victims are then enticed to perform a sexual act and then its recorded. 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, sent to contacts on their Facebook profile and other social network sites."

Likely more victims out there

The scammers then demand money to keep the recording off the internet.

Gauthier says men may find it difficult to come forward to report an incident like this.

"I'm sure there's more victims out there," she said.

"In the last year, the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre is aware of two suicides in Ontario directly related to this type of extortion scam."

Gauthier says OPP are working with the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre and they believe the scam originates in Africa and targets French speaking countries.

There were similar instances in Kapuskasing last March.

However, Gauthier says no charges have been laid.

"In order to lay a charge, we have to have the accused," she said.

"But if they're from another country, we can't. All we can do is take the information and maybe help police agencies."

With files from Angela Gemmill