Calgary police warn parents, teens about online 'sextortion' scam

·1 min read

CALGARY — Police in Calgary are warning parents, caregivers and teens about an online "sextortion" scam.

Police say they have already had 48 reports this year and most have targeted teenage boys.

Sextortion is a form of blackmail in which online scammers, using a phoney profile, make a connection with potential victims and express romantic interest.

The scammer will ask for intimate photos and videos as the online conversation progresses.

Police say the scammer then demands money and threatens to share the explicit material if payment is not received.

The service's cybercrime team is investigating several reports.

"We believe these crimes are vastly under-reported," Staff Sgt. Graeme Smiley of the cybercrimes team said in a news release Thursday.

"We are thankful for the courageous victims who have come forward and encourage others who believe they have been victimized to do the same."

Smiley encouraged parents to have honest conversations with their children about online safety and to report any sexual exploitation to police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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