British Columbia

Sextortion scams on rise, warn Burnaby RCMP

The RCMP say they've investigated 24 incidents of sextortion since May, in which victims are typically threatened with the release of intimate videos or images.

24 incidents investigates since May; victims typically threatened with release of intimate videos or images

Police are warning social media users to beware of so-called 'sextortion' scams. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Police are warning the public after a rise in incidents of so-called "sextortion" scams in in Burnaby, B.C.

The RCMP say they've been seeing two different kinds of scenarios of involving sexual extortion recently.

One is where victims receive unsolicited friend requests on social media and prompts for video chats.

The second involves unsolicited emails from someone claiming to have a sexually explicit video of the victim or information about the use of pornographic websites.

In both cases the victims are typically threatened with the release of intimate videos or images, and asked to make a payment, usually in the form of a money transfer or Bitcoin.

The RCMP say they've investigated 24 incidents of sextortion since May, including cases where money has been transferred to strangers.

Police say all internet users should be careful and not accept friend requests from unknown individuals via social media.

Anyone that has been targeted should stop communicating with the individuals, save any existing correspondence and immediately report the incident to police.

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