Halifax-area RCMP say they have investigated six “sextortion” incidents this year, and are warning residents to be careful online.
In five of the cases, victims were men and the suspect was a woman, with victims’ ages ranging from 17 to 52.
Police say the victims were asked to perform a sex act during a video chat after meeting suspects online.
The suspects then revealed they surreptitiously recorded the act, and demanded money while threatening to release the video to the victims’ contacts if they didn’t comply.
Only one of the six victims sent money as demanded.
Police say some of the investigations are ongoing, while others have concluded without charges because suspects can’t be located or identified.
They say the videos were never sent to the victims’ contacts as threatened.
“If you make a video or take a photo and that device has the ability to connect to the internet, the content can potentially be seen by anyone,” said Staff Sgt. Royce MacRae of the Nova Scotia RCMP’s tech crime unit.
“One way to protect yourself from this type of scam is to avoid accepting friend requests from strangers.”
The Canadian Press