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‘Sextortion’ case investigated in St. Clair Township

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Journal staff

Lambton Ontario Provincial Police are reminding people to think twice about taking and sharing intimate photos and videos online following a recent case of ‘sextortion’ in St. Clair Township.

Police say officers were dispatched around 2 a.m., Sunday, for a report of a fraud complaint.

“The victim received a ‘follow’ request on a popular social media platform,” OPP noted. “A brief online relationship ensued at which time intimate images were taken and shared. Upon sharing the images, the victim began receiving messages demanding money or the images would be shared to the victims friends and family.”

A single payment was made to the unknown individual, OPP said. A second payment request was demanded at which time police were notified of the fraud.

“The investigation is ongoing,” said Prov. Const. Jeff Hare, community services and media relations for Middlesex County. “At this time there has not been an arrest or charges laid.

“‘Sextortion,’ a form of extortion, is where an individual, threatens the other that they will share a sexually explicit image or video with the victim’s family and friends unless they pay an undisclosed amount of money,” OPP said. “Remember, there is always a risk in sharing intimate images over the internet. Before you hit ‘send’ remember, you no longer have control over that image.”

Police are reminding victims that they are not alone. It is estimated that only 5-10% of frauds are reported, often due to the embarrassment associated with being tricked and defrauded.

“If someone demands payment and/or threatens to share your photos or videos, never pay the money. Screen shot their messages and usernames, block them from social media and contact police immediately.”

For more information on current fraud trends please visit that Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index.eng.htm         

The OPP can be reached anywhere in the Province of Ontario at 1-888-310-1122. 

If you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.   

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