Red Deer, Alberta – Red Deer RCMP have received two complaints of Extortion by Libel this October; in both cases, men were approached online by females who lured them into compromising online encounters and then threatened to post the images online unless they were paid by their victims.
Neither victim was defrauded of money; in both cases, the extorters stopped communication when the victims stated that they were reporting the interaction to RCMP. Red Deer RCMP suspect there may be even more instances of this type of extortion, but that victims may be too embarrassed to report it.
Unfortunately, these online profiles are usually fake and the extorters live in different countries, making prosecution of them impossible.
RCMP urge citizens to follow these tips for a safe online experience:
- use the privacy settings on social media accounts
- be cautious about whom you befriend online – ask yourself why they are approaching you and be wary of any push for inappropriate intimacy
- don’t share personal details with a stranger who approaches you online – stick with first names and generalized locations
- do not let anyone – friends or strangers – talk you into doing anything that you wouldn’t want your family, your employer or your friends to see
- be aware that the person you’re chatting with online may be misrepresenting their age, sex, location and intentions
- remember, your online actions do not disappear
- the Internet and/or social media sites are not the issue; the way that scammers and predators use them is the problem
Red Deer RCMP received their first report of Extortion by Libel in July 2013. Find more RCMP online safety tips here.
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Cpl. Karyn Kay
Red Deer RCMP