East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police are warning the public of a sex blackmail scam linked to social media sites such as dating sites and Instagram.
“Sextortion is where people are lured into a relationship online through social media, dating sites or porn sites,” police said in a press release Wednesday.
“As the relationship builds, victims are encouraged to use the computer camera and the scammer will coerce the victim into performing a sex act on webcam.”
At this point, the victims are at an impasse. They are told that they have been recorded and if they refuse to pay, the video will be made public or sent to friends.
It may seem obvious, but police say the best way to protect themselves is to “refuse any request to do any wrongful act on the internet.”
“Turn off your webcam or any other internet-connected camera when you’re not using it,” the police added.
“Hackers can gain remote access and record without your knowledge… Consider carefully who you share explicit videos and photographs with.”
If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of fraud, please contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or the nearest police authority and the Anti-Fraud Center of Canada at 1-888-495-8501 or report online.