Police warn of increased sextortion cases

Coquitlam, Public Alert

2023-01-06 07:56 PST

File # Public Service Announcement

Coquitlam RCMP is warning the public of a recent increase of sextortion cases.

In recent months, Police have been receiving a large number of money-motivated sextortion reports where youth boys and girls are being targeted. According to Cybertip!ca, there has been an 150% increase in youth being sextorted between December 2021 and May 2022.

person on mobile phone

Cybertip!ca is a Canadian tip line for reporting online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Visit Cybertip!ca for more information.

In these incidents, a suspect often begins a flirtatious online relation with the victim. Once the relationship has been established, the suspect convinces the victim to engage in sexually explicit activities, such as sending a nude photo or videos of themselves. Once received, the suspect threatens to distribute the photos or videos to the victim’s family and friends unless payment is received.

These highly-sophisticated and well-organized criminals use the nude images or videos to threaten, intimate and coerce the victim, who is most often a child or youth, into sending the suspect’s cash or gifts cards.

The suspects rely on the fear and shame in order to extort anything they can from the victim who may be too afraid to seek help, said Media Relations Officer, Corporal Alexa Hodgins. When youth are involved, they are often to afraid to speak to their parents and attempt to deal with the extortion themselves. We want those victims to know that it’s okay to ask for help by speaking with an adult.

The suspects use techniques to protect their identity and do not always reside within Canada, which makes it difficult to investigate and prosecute. Coquitlam RCMP are encouraging the public to use safe social media practices and to refrain from sharing nude or personal sensitive images and videos online. Parents and/or guardians should closely monitor their children’s social media usage.

Tips for parents:

Be open about online behaviour

Monitor your children’s online activities regularly

Be aware of mobile applications

For more information visit the BC RCMP website for Internet Safety Tips for Parents.

Tips for children

Think before you share

Be socially responsible

If you have disclosed an intimate image, nude photo or video and it was shared without your consent, know that it is not your fault

Do not send money online

Protect your privacy online

For more information visit the BC RCMP website for Internet Safety Tips for Teens.

If you have been a victim or suspect someone may be trying to extort you, contact your local police.

For more useful links and tips, please visit:


Released by

Cpl. Alexa Hodgins

Media Relations Officer
Coquitlam RCMP
2986 Guildford Way, Coquitlam, B.C V3B 7Y5
Office: 604-945-1580

Email: coquitlam_media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Website: coquitlam.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)

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