East region OPP warn of online sextortion scams | #datingscams | #lovescams

Scammers have been contacting victims online and threatening to share intimate photos with friends, family and contacts unless the victims pays up.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is issuing a waning to the public of sextortion scams that are circulating around the province, including eastern Ontario.

The OPP has received reports of scammers contacting victims through online avenues, including social media or online dating sites, and threatening to share intimate photos with their family, friends and contacts unless the victim pays them a sum of money.

Often times, the scammer then requests funds be sent via a money e-transfer, cryptocurrencies and/or gift cards. Police say victims often report feeling shame, fear and confusion, which prevents them from coming forward and asking for help.

The OPP has released a list of tips to help you learn how to protect yourself:

  • Beware of unknown persons who attempt to communicate with you over the Internet
  • Never send money to people you do not know
  • Never send compromising photos to anyone, regardless of who you may think the person is
  • Cover web cameras when not is use
  • Do not store sensitive/intimate images or information online or on your mobile device
  • Use strong passwords and do not use the same password for multiple social media accounts/websites
  • Ensure that security settings for social media accounts are activated and set at the highest level of privacy protection
  • Report abuse to the various social media platforms, in order to ensure the scammers are held accountable and to prevent further victims.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), extortion frauds represented $17 million in reported losses in 2021 and more than $16.4 million in 2020.

You’re advised to contact police if a scammer contacts you or if you have been defrauded. You can also contact the CFAC at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

Mental Health services are available to everyone across the province through Connex Ontario at 1-866-531-2600 or online at http://www.connexontario.ca.

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