Whitehorse RCMP are investigating after two “sextortion” scams were recently reported to them.
According to a Yukon RCMP press release, the scams typically involve a victim being lured into an online relationship with the scammer, who gradually convinces the victim to perform sexual acts on-camera or to share intimate photos.
The scammer then demands payment from the victim and threatens to publicly share the photos or videos if the ransom isn’t paid. Ransoms can range from smaller amounts, such as $20 or $30, to $500 and more.
In one of the Whitehorse cases, the press release says, the scammer “used real images of the victim’s face, and combined them with explicit footage showing someone else’s body” before coercing the victim into paying more than $200 to prevent the video from being made public.
The press release asks anyone who has fallen victim to a sextortion scam to report it to local police as well as the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre. Anyone who is approached by a scammer is advised to “immediately stop all forms of communication” and to not comply with the threats.
To protect yourself from sextortion, the press release also advises to not accept friend requests from strangers or engage in online chats with strangers, to “carefully consider” who you share explicit images and videos with and to improve the security of social media profiles.