Police say online 'sextortion' scams targeting men increasing in Burnaby, B.C.

By The Canadian Press
June 30, 2016 - 10:26am

BURNABY, B.C. — Police are warning men in Burnaby, B.C., to use discretion online after reports from people who say they were blackmailed to perform sex acts.

RCMP in the Vancouver suburb say there’s been a significant increase in complaints from men being trapped during webcam chats.

Since last fall, police say they have received 14 so-called sextortion complaints targeting men in Burnaby.

Sgt. Derek Thibodeau says most victims report receiving a friend request on Facebook before a suspect threatens to post photos online or send them to family if the victim refuses to pay cash.

Thibodeau says people should protect themselves by avoiding intimate activities online or sharing such photos online.

He says anyone who is a victim of extortion must contact police.

“Online extortion scams are a growing problem worldwide and it can have lasting and serious consequences for victims who often feel ashamed and powerless to do anything about it,” Thibodeau says.

The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre says 1,936 complaints were registered about online extortion scams in 2014.

The scams can be challenging to stop because they originate overseas, but Thibodeau says police are continuing to investigate the cases in Burnaby.

The Canadian Press

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