Kamloops, BC – The Kamloops RCMP Detachment is warning the public about the dangers of sending nudes, following a number of recent ‘sextortion’ reports.
In the last month, officers have investigated at least six reports involving adults and youths, who shared intimate images online and were then blackmailed for money to prevent the distribution of those images. There is no evidence to suggest these incidents are related.
“In many of these cases, the fraudster will make contact with the victim via social media and convince them to send a sexual image or perform a sexual act they may be secretly recording,” said Constable Phil Whiles, Kamloops RCMP Sex Crimes Investigator. “The fraudster then threatens to send the content to others unless the victim sends them money or more content.”
Particularly concerning, is that some of these reports involve teenagers. Police are encouraging adults to talk to their kids about the dangers of sextortion and the potential consequences of their online behaviour.
“We understand it may be uncomfortable for some adults to discuss with their teenagers, but it’s an important discussion to have in order to help prevent the discomfort and fear that can follow after the images have already been sent,” added Cst. Whiles. “If it does happen, they need to know they can go to a safe, trusted adult to report.”
Below are some tips to help prevent sextortion.
Keep yourself safe online:
Think before you post – information is instant, public, and permanent;
Do not accept friend requests on social media from unknown people;
Do not share or send intimate images of yourself with anyone – if you aren’t okay with the whole world seeing it, do not send it;
Use privacy settings on social media and keep personal information to a minimum;
Trust your instincts, if anything about an interaction makes you feel uncomfortable, end the conversation immediately.
Be open about online behaviour, place computers in busy family areas;
Make online activity part of your regular conversations
Encourage your teen to take breaks away from devices;
Work with your children on how to behave safely online from a young age;
What to do if you are victim:
Stop communicating with the person immediately;
Do not comply with the threat, do not send money or additional images, doing so will not fix the
Resources and additional information on ways to keep your teens safe online can be found by visiting www.needhelpnow.ca or www.cybertip.ca.
Kamloops RCMPSocial Media Sharing Centre
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