In the past 24 hours, South Simcoe Police have investigated two separate reports of sextortion scams.
Police say sextortion occurs when someone you’ve met online asks you to perform a sex act during an online video chat. The suspect records the act and then threatens to send images or the video to other people if you don’t pay the suspect or provide more sexual content. According to police, sextortion typically starts with normal online conversations. Chats are moved to more private platforms and quickly become intimate. Scammers create fake profiles online, say police, and use the profiles to lure people into the scam. In both recent cases, the victims called the police instead of paying the suspect.
South Simcoe Police wants the public to be aware of this scam and the risks of intimate online encounters with people you haven’t met in person.
Police ask parents and caregivers to talk to their children about internet/social media safety as versions of this crime can target anyone who goes online.
What to do if you’re being sextorted:
- Immediately stop all contact.
- Do not comply with the suspect’s demands for money. If you have paid money, check to see if it has been collected and, if not, quickly cancel the payment.
- Call police. If you’re a young person, tell an adult who can contact police. Remember, you are not alone.
- Save all communications with the suspect and any identifying information.