Shortly after, the individual receives a message or email saying that the video has been recorded and that the video will be released to family and friends unless a certain amount of money is paid.
“As anonymous as social media may seem, certain activities can come with some terrible consequences,” said Constable Chad Neustaeter, Media Relations Officer for the Fort St John RCMP detachment.
“Individuals need to take steps to protect themselves because there are always those looking to take advantage of others.”
Steps to keep yourself safe online:
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know,
- Don’t share any personal information with anyone such as date of birth, Social Insurance Number or banking information,
- Don’t share intimate photos of yourself because once you have sent them, you can never get them back,
- Be aware that the person on the other end of a video chat could record the entire interaction.
Police advise extortion victims not to forward any money after these requests and file a report with the police.
Mounties say if banking information is shared, contact the bank, flag accounts and check in with both credit bureaus, either Equifax or TransUnion.