Extortion scam targets escort service, dating site users, Ottawa police warn

article content

They engage with the victim, asking for a video of them masturbating, then threatening to expose the footage to the victim’s friends or family unless they make a payment in bitcoin or cash, the Ottawa Police Service said in a statement. press release on Wednesday.

article content

Victims receive calls or videos threatening to kill them and their families if they don’t pay.

“They’re counting on victims being too embarrassed to come forward,” said Sgt. Robert Mills, case manager for the central investigations section, in the statement.

“You will not be judged. Police involvement may be enough to push them back, or your report may help us find the person(s) responsible and prevent them from victimizing others.”

But it is an international scam with little chance of arrest, Mills said.

article content

“That’s why we’re warning people so we can stop this from happening in the first place.”

The Ottawa police did not give figures, but estimated that complaints of extortion or threats have doubled in the last month. It’s anecdotal because the complaints aren’t made as a single type of call with the estimate based on the number the case manager has seen in the last month, police said.

People can protect themselves by setting their privacy controls on all social media platforms to the highest security settings, police advised. They should not provide images of themselves or move conversations to platforms where contacts can be accessed.

“Beware, the person you think you’re chatting with may not be who they say they are,” Mills said. “And in the meantime, they are collecting personal information about you.”

Anyone who receives a threat should stop all communication with the extortionist and report it to local police and Cybertip.ca, Ottawa police said.

Iklan Atas Artikel

Iklan Tengah Artikel 2

Iklan Bawah Artikel