Police warning parents to be aware of sextortionists targeting teens
Release Date: December 31, 2019
Kingston Police and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is warning parents about an increasing and serious trend involving Canadian youth being extorted for money. There has been a concerning rise in teenagers reporting issues surrounding video communication with adults posing as teenagers. On platforms that allow users to communicate by video, offenders are secretly recording teenagers exposing themselves and then threatening to share the sexual content if they don’t pay money (often hundreds of dollars) to the individual.
Around this same issue, there is a new tactic surfacing that involves the youth’s peer group. Threats are now being extended to other teenagers within the same social peer group. Friends are being shown the sexual image/video of their peer and being told that if they don’t share a sexual image of themselves, that the offender will distribute the already recorded sexual video/image of their friend. This tactic appears to be used to expand the number of teens being extorted for money which can range from $200 – $1,000.
While many teens understand the dangers associated with recording and sharing sexual images and videos, they may not be as aware of the risks associated with live video feeds. With relative ease over live streaming, anyone can capture a still image or video of a person sexually exposing themselves, all without the other person’s knowledge.
Parents need to have regular, open dialogue with their teen around this topic encouraging the teen to seek parental support in situations like this. It is also important to talk to teens about never complying with threats online, since in most cases this will only make matters wo