Saskatchewan RCMP has reported a 200-per cent increase in reported extortion cases in the province in the first six months of 2023.
In an email statement, RCMP said in those six months, detachments have received 105 reports of the crime across jurisdictions.
“A 200-per cent increase is alarming — due to the sensitive nature of these extortions, we believe these files are likely under-reported to police,” said RCMP crime analyst Monica Deters.
“Saskatchewan RCMP proactively monitors crime trends and this allows us to inform the public when we see an emerging issue. Based on the statistics we’re seeing, we’re letting Saskatchewan residents know these extortions are happening and that should be taking steps to protect themselves from these types of crime.”
A majority of the reports have been for ‘sextortion’ crimes, when a victim meets someone online and sends explicit photos of themselves to a suspect posing as someone else. The victim is usually then threatened with the photos for money.
Other extortion reports the RCMP have received involve victims being told their devices have been hacked and their online activities are being monitored. The suspect threatens to leak the victims’ personal information online unless they are paid.
The RCMP said Saskatchewan residents should be aware of scammers online and never send personal information or intimate content. Parents should also monitor their child’s online activity.
Nova Scotia floods cut off sole rail link connecting Halifax to rest of Canada
Human remains found, man confirmed dead after N.S. flood
They stated if you are a victim, immediately cut contact with the suspect, keep any records of interaction, and report it to the police immediately.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.