A warning to Burnaby men: that amorous person on the other end of the computer screen may not be exactly who they say they are.
Burnaby RCMP is issuing a warning, after seeing a spike in the number of sextortion incidents targeting men in the city.
Sergeant Derek Thibodeau with Burnaby RCMP say there have been 14 instances since last fall where men are befriended by what they believe is a woman on Facebook.
“Victims are encouraged to do explicit web cam chats via Skype with the suspects, coercing them into performing a sexual act in front of the camera. At that point, the victim is extorted, with the suspects threatening to post the video to their Facebook friends and family unless they pay cash.”
He says it’s a growing problem, and not just in Burnaby.
“Online extortion scams are growing. They’re a problem worldwide. It can be a lasting and serious consequences for the victims, who often feel ashamed and powerless to do anything. “
RCMP say it can be an embarrassing situation, but the advice is to avoid being intimate online and never send anyone cash.
Thibodeau says in all 14 instances, none of the men came face-to-face with the person they had befriended.
Police are warning people to be vigilant, and are offering up tips to potential victims.
- Prevention is possible – avoid being intimate online or sharing intimate photos
- Contact the police immediately
- Do not send any money to the suspects
- Talk to someone – a family member, partner, friend or mental health professional
Anyone with information is asked to call Burnaby RCMP at 604-294-7922.