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Social Media Initiative

What to do if you encounter something threatening, criminal or an emergency situation on a social media website?

Social media has become an everyday part of our lives. We interact online with not only our friends and family, but often with total strangers. Fortunately, most of our online interactions are positive however there are instances where the contact we have with other people on the Internet can lead to dangerous and even criminal activity. INTERPOL Ottawa wants you to be aware of what you can do if you encounter a situation like this while on a social media website.

Some examples of these situations are:

  • When talking to someone online in another country they reveal that they are planning on harming themselves or even committing suicide.
  • You come across a video an individual from another country has made and posted online threatening to harm others.
  • After having developed an online friendship with someone abroad they ask you to send them money and it turns out they are in fact a criminal committing fraud.

What to do if you encounter situations like this and how can INTERPOL Ottawa help you?

  • Contact your local police.
  • The police will then contact INTERPOL Ottawa who serves as a primary gateway for the Canadian law enforcement community to pursue assistance in criminal matters outside of Canada.
  • INTERPOL Ottawa will contact the INTERPOL member country where the individual who has committed a crime, or who is threatening to harm themselves or others, resides.
  • The INTERPOL member country will then contact the police of jurisdiction where the individual in the foreign country in question is to be located.
  • The police of jurisdiction will then deal with the matter at hand whether they begin a criminal investigation or provide aid to an individual in distress.