Blackmail and sextortion: young people who are the target of violent threats

Blackmail and sextortion: young people who are the target of violent threats

Adolescents, who are more active in social networks than older people, increasingly face violent threats on the networks.

Scammers first try to get in touch with an individual through a Facebook account or other similar platform and make threats in order to get paid.

“We were paid to murder you […] I want you to listen carefully […] We have a network all over the world. In order not to endanger your life, we advise you to work with us,” received Laurianne Courchesne, 15, on Instagram.

The teenager, who lives in Sorel-Tracy, agreed to “sell” her photo after a woman claimed she wanted to use it for a portrait. However, the check sent by the lady to Laurianne was fake and the threats soon followed.

“I was very scared,” emphasizes the person who called the police. Be careful on social media because there are people who want to harm us,” she told the Journal.

According to Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) awareness officer Jeff Horncastle, the phenomenon is common and criminals tend to target the youngest.

“Unfortunately, it is mainly young adults and sometimes teenagers who are being targeted. It’s very serious, he stresses. We always advise against sending money because it doesn’t stop,” the agent warned in an interview with the Journal.

“In some cases they send really very violent photos and photos of guns to intimidate the person,” Mr Horncastle said, saying he didn’t want to share examples in pictures because they were “too violent”.

In 2021 alone, 361 fraud reports were recorded. Since the beginning of 2022, 364 reports of extortion have already been counted.

In addition, there were over 100 reports of “blackmail” in June alone. On average, Cybertip receives 57 reports of sextortion per month.

It should be noted that such incidents often occur without the person concerned reporting them.

“I don’t share my password, I keep it [courriels]“Said a woman interviewed by TVA Nouvelles about her solutions to protect herself from scam attempts.

Another suggests paying special attention to “.com” when sharing links between two people. “Make sure it’s a legitimate website,” he said in English.