RCMP warns public about sextortion scams targeting young males

May 28, 2024
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

News release


The Nova Scotia RCMP Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit and Cybercrime Unit are warning the public of an increase in sextortion scams targeting young males in Nova Scotia.

In recent months, the Nova Scotia RCMP has observed an increase in reports of money-motivated sextortion, specifically targeting males between the ages of 12 and 20.

While everyone is at risk of financial sextortion, recent findings suggest that young boys have represented the majority of cases in the last year. According to Cybertip.ca, Canada's tip line, 91% of sextortion incidents affected boys. It is important to remember that while boys represent the majority of reported victims, anyone can be victimized. Also remember that you are not alone – if this has happened to you, there is help and there is life after images.

What is Sextortion?

Simply put, sextortion is blackmail. It's when someone online threatens to send a sexual image or video of you to other people if you don't pay them or provide more sexual content.

How does it start?

Sextortion typically occurs when the victim, (young men in particular), are tricked into believing they are talking to a female online. This contact often occurs on Instagram and then moves to Snapchat. The offender will typically say that their microphone does not work so they can only use the chat function and the conversation can last for 20 minutes to several hours. The victim is convinced to exchange sexual content such as photos, videos, and livestream. The offender will then threaten to share the material publicly and/or with the victim's friends and family, unless they comply with demands, which can include sending more explicit content or money.

How can I prevent this from happening?

The RCMP urge caregivers to speak to youth about how to prevent Sextortion:

  • • Do not accept social media friend requests from strangers
  • • Avoid sharing intimate images and videos online
  • • Keep electronic devices out of bedrooms at bedtime
  • • Monitor online activities

What should youth do if they are being sextorted?

If someone is threatening you to share nude images and or videos, reach out to a trusted adult or the police, and take the following steps:

  • • Do not comply with any threats
  • • Stop talking to them and screenshot the messages
  • • Never pay money or send additional images or videos
  • • Delete and block the offender
  • • Report to www.cybertip.ca and report to your local police

Remember, even though sextortion is committed virtually, it has a profound effect. Victims can feel alone, ashamed, scared, and sometimes desperate – to the point where they can harm themselves. Visit www.NeedHelpNow.ca for support and help on steps to take.


Contact information

Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay
Public Information Officer
Nova Scotia RCMP

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