Young people are the target of extortion scams

Saskatchewan’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit says it continues to see multiple cases involving the same type of scam.

Various apps and games are used to get young people to share intimate images. The abuser often poses a youth of similar age. The next step will be extortion as the suspect is asking for money otherwise he will send these images to his friends, family and social media contacts.

The ICE unit says suspects are often located outside of Canada, which limits officers’ investigative abilities. The images remain online and the police cannot prevent them from being shared on the Internet.

The best advice is to never share images or private information, such as emails, usernames and passwords. Suspects can use the acquired information to create new accounts under the suspected identity and the process continues.

The ICE Unit offers the following online safety tips for families.

1. Have regular conversations about online safety. This includes talking about the online
the games your kids play, the apps they use, and who they chat with. For
tips on how to start the conversation, visit protectkidsonline.ca for
ideas.

2. Set the expectation that you will monitor your child’s online activities and work together to
establish guidelines for texting, social media, live streaming and gaming, such as
who your child can do these things with and on which apps.

3. For the younger ones, help them create their ID, password and profile information
making sure it is set to private. For tweens and teens, help configure privacy settings in
apps/games/social accounts. With a private account, users can approve or deny
followers/friends, restrict who can see their content and profile information, and limit
incoming messages to subscribers/friends only. Work together to decide who to accept as
followers/friends.

4. Tell your child that if they come across something or someone online that
they feel uncomfortable, they can tell you without fear of getting in trouble or losing
digital privileges. Remind them that their safety is most important to you.

5. If you see, read or hear anything sexual from an adult about your child online, report it.
at Cybertip.ca

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