Winnipeg police: Increase in reports of sextortion scams

The Winnipeg Police Service has seen an increase in reports of sextortion programs over the past year.

Police explained that this scheme involves a perpetrator using a fake account to solicit a victim on social media. Officials said the schemer could be operating outside of Canada and “fishing” the victim by pretending to be an alluring person who is young and attractive or has similar interests.

From there, the abuser builds an online relationship based on false trust and emotions. Police note that as the relationship progresses, the victim is encouraged to share intimate images.

Officials said in some cases, schemers lurk in chat groups where people willingly post and live stream sexually explicit material of themselves.

Once the victim shares their intimate images, they are held for ransom as the sextortionist threatens to reveal their private life, sexual activities, or intimate images if they don’t offer them payment or sexual services.

Catherine Tabak of the Canada Center for Child Protection said that so far this year there has been a 150 percent increase in the number of sextortion complaints received compared to last year.

“In July we had 322 reports of sextortion in our tip line, compared to July 2021 where we had about 85 I think,” she said.

Tabak said the increased time children and young people are spending online due to the pandemic has led to an increased number of sextortion attempts.

She adds that despite the number of reports, the true numbers are likely higher.

“We have a strong belief that we’re really seeing the tip of the iceberg and not getting a full picture of what’s actually happening online,” Tabak said. “But we only know from our contact with families, parents and young people who are in these kinds of situations that there is a sense of embarrassment and shame and they are really, really concerned about the images being circulated.”

Read  How To Sacrifice And Ascend Followers

Some common payment solicitations used during extortions include money transfers and prepaid gift cards, according to police.

The Winnipeg Police Service and the Canadian Center for Child Protection are warning everyone, including children and young people, never to share intimate images.

Tabak adds that people must cut off contact with the perpetrator immediately.

“Once you receive threats, don’t pay the money,” she said. “We have seen from situations reported to us that when individuals attempt to pay, thinking it will bring a sense of relief to what is happening, the threats actually escalate from there.”

Tabak added that the Canadian Center for Child Protection wants online platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to address sextortion on their websites.

If you or someone you know is receiving sextortion threats, you can seek help by calling the police emergency number at 204-986-6222. Other sources of help include and

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button