Sexual extortion cases rise in Surrey

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Surrey RCMP is warning it’s illegal to share a nude photo of someone without their consent as sexual image extortions in the city rise.

Police saw an increase in such extortion attempts in the second quarter of the year.

Many of the files involve threats to expose a sexual image of the victim to other people if the latter does not pay money or provide more sexual content, according to RCMP.

In a number of cases, individuals met the perpetrators through social media or dating apps, and shared images and videos believing they were engaging in a mutual relationship, says a release from police.

In the reported incidents, the average ages of victims were between 18 and 29 years old, while RCMP says the number of male and female victims were the same.

“When you are considering sending someone else a nude photo or video, ask yourself if you are comfortable letting go of your control over those images,” says St. Sgt. Lyndsay O’Ruairc.

“Images can be easily distributed and made public, and while it’s illegal to distribute nude photos without consent, the consequences for the victim can be significant.”

Surrey RCMP also continues to get reports from people receiving scam emails, claiming their computer has been hacked. The person is told to send money or bitcoin under the threat of having nude or sexually explicit videos of them distributed, according to police.

In those cases, there was no proof of photos or videos or other information being obtained from the victims’ computers.

To avoid being a target of extortion:

  • be cautious in distributing nude photos and videos of yourself to anyone;
  • disable your webcam or any other camera connected to the Internet when you aren’t using it;
  • create complex, difficult to guess passwords for your devices and accounts and change the passwords frequently.

If you or someone you know is a victim of extortion, call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. Surrey RCMP also recommends reporting extortion scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by going to its website or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today