Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


RCMP warn of online sextortion scams targeting male youths in Nova Scotia

By Jacob Moore May 28, 2024 | 12:45 PM

Nova Scotia RCMP are warning people about sextortion scams targeting young boys and men in the province.

Police say the they’re receiving more reports of these scams, targeting boys and men between 12 and 20 years old, according to a news release from RCMP.

According to Cybertip.ca, a national tip line for the online sexual exploitation of children, 91 per cent of sextortion incidents affected boys. Although they represent the majority, police say anyone can be victimized.

“Remember that you are not alone – if this has happened to you, there is help and there is life after images,” writes Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay in the release.

What is sextortion?

Sextortion is a type of blackmail, which happens when someone online threatens to send a sexual image or video of the victim to others if the victim doesn’t pay money or provide more sexual content, police say.

Most of the time it happens when young men or boys believe they’re talking to a female online. Police say the offender usually says their microphone doesn’t work so they have to use the chat function on social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

Then the offender convinces the victim to send sexually explicit content, like photos, videos or even livestreaming to the offender.

Once the offender has the sexual content, they will threaten to share the material with the public, or the victim’s family and friends, police say, unless they send more content or pay money.

What to do if it happens?

To prevent sextortion, police encourage parents and caregivers to talk to youth about sextortion, monitor online activities, don’t accept friend requests from strangers, avoid sharing sexual images or videos and keep electronic devices out of bedrooms at night.

If someone is threatening you or someone you know to share nude images, you should talk to a trusted adult or reach out to police, according to the RCMP.

Other steps include:

  • Do not do what the offender asks
  • Stop talking to the offender and take screenshots of the conversation
  • Don’t pay money or send additional photos or videos
  • Delete and block the offender
  • Report the incident to the police and to Cybertip.ca

RCMP say victims can feel ashamed, scared and desperate, to the point they sometimes consider self-harm. If people need support, they can visit www.NeedHelpNow.ca.