The Police Department of the City of Lévis (SPVL) recently received several complaints concerning attempted extortion in connection with images or videos of a sexual nature taken without the victims’ knowledge.
According to SPVL spokesperson Maxime Pelletier, around five complaints for “sextortion” have been filed in the past two weeks. In the majority of cases, the modus operandi is the same.
“Usually, it targets older men. What is special, lately, are young people [victimes], late adolescence, early adulthood, who are involved in the cases, ”said Mr. Pelletier.
In all cases, the victims are boys.
“A young woman comes into contact with young boys through Instagram and Snapchat. Quickly, she invites the victims for a discussion on the Hangouts app. Once on the platform, she encourages them to undress via a video, which she records without their knowledge. Subsequently, she threatens to publish the images of the victim to her contacts if she does not transfer the money. “
In the complaints that were reported, the email addresses used looked like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
SPVL investigators work in collaboration with the Sûreté du Québec’s team specialized in the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet.
“To avoid this kind of situation, we advise you to set your accounts ‘private’ so that it will be difficult for fraudsters to get in touch with you. If you don’t, be vigilant when strangers want to start a discussion and don’t divulge personal information, ”advises the SPVL.
Extortion emails often originate from servers overseas, making it difficult for police officers to do their jobs.
“That’s why we ask people not to undress in front of their cameras. These are files that are more technical to investigate since they involve other police forces. Sometimes Interpol is involved, but there are countries where it is more difficult than others to carry out investigations, ”added Mr. Pelletier.
“When it’s a super beautiful girl who comes to talk to you and after three minutes, she asks you to show your genitals, it is probably because there is eel under the rock”, added the spokesperson. .
Other similar complaints have been reported elsewhere in the province, informed Mr. Pelletier who invites victims not to be embarrassed to denounce this form of blackmail to the police.