A new sextortion tactic sees offenders superimposing a youth’s face in a video or photo to make it look like they’re nude or engaging in a sexual act, Cybertip.ca says.
The protection agency says offenders are blackmailing young people — demanding they send money or gift cards or they’ll send the video or photo to the youth’s friends and family.
Cypertip.ca says offenders will sometimes also follow the young person’s friends and family on Facebook or Instagram “as a way to demonstrate they can follow through on threats to share the video or photos if the victim does not comply.”
The agency has also seen offenders create social media accounts using the victim’s name or a similar name to share the videos or photos.
Offenders are also using filters to appear younger than they are, Cybertip.ca said.
The tactics can take place on many social media platforms, but have been reported on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, Skype, Omegle and Line App.
- Discuss with your children the importance of not answering video calls from people they don’t know.
- If they mistakenly connect over livestream with someone they don’t know, immediately disconnect and do not respond to any other attempts to connect.
- When the option is available, answer video calls with the camera turned off until they have confirmed the identity of the person calling.
What if your teen has been targeted?
- Report it immediately to Cybertip.ca or contact police in your jurisdiction.
- Immediately stop all communication. (Log off or deactivate — but don’t delete — any of the accounts used to communicate with the individual. Pay attention to any of the other accounts your teen may have linked to as the user may attempt to contact them there as well).
- Do not comply with the threat. Never pay money and never send additional nudes. If money has been sent to the extortionist, check to see if it has been collected and, if not, quickly cancel the payment. If it has, contact the money service that has been used immediately. Most money services will have a blackmail form you can fill out.
- Keep the correspondence. Keep information such as the user’s name, username(s) or email addresses and which platforms they are linked to, information about your own usernames/email addresses on those same platforms, details of any payment request, a copy of the communications, and any images and/or videos that were sent.
- File a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online.
- Remember you are not alone. Visit dontgetsextorted.ca and needhelpnow.ca for resources on how to manage instances of sextortion and sexting, as well as where to turn for support.
For more information on offender tactics and warning signs, go to cybertip.ca/sextortion.