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N.L RCMP warns of sextortionists targeting youth

<span>A young woman scrolls through the anon-ib.co website, discovering disturbing and revealing images of women her own age.</span>
A young woman scrolls through a website, discovering disturbing and revealing images of women her own age. The RCMP in N.L. are asking parents to be aware of scams targeting youth.— SaltWire Network

Police concerned there are unreported cases

St. John’s, N.L. — RCMP N.L. is warning residents about recent reports in Newfoundland and Labrador of extortion schemes targeting youth and vulnerable individuals.

This scam, sometimes referred to as sextortion results when victims are lured into an online relationship through friend requests on Facebook. The friend request may appear to be from someone known to the victim or, in other instances, the victim accepts a friend request from an unknown person.

Police are encouraging parents to monitor internet usage of their children to help ensure they are not being targeted by these scammers. Youth are encouraged to decline unknown friend requests and to not send nude pictures or videos to anyone.

As the relationship builds, victims are encouraged to perform a sexual act on camera or take intimate photos of themselves and forward to the scammer. “This results in the victim being threatened that the pictures or videos will be released to Facebook friends and family or uploaded to YouTube unless a sum of money is paid. In cases this week, amounts requested ranged from $2,500 to $5,000,” the RCMP said in a statement Thursday morning.

Police are encouraging parents to monitor internet usage of their children to help ensure they are not being targeted by these scammers. Youth are encouraged to decline unknown friend requests and to not send nude pictures or videos to anyone.

As victims of this crime may feel shame or embarrassment, the RCMP believes there may be unreported cases of this criminal activity.

Anyone who has been a victim should immediately stop all forms of communication, not comply with the threats and contact the police.

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