OPP issue warning after local teen becomes victim of ‘sextortion’

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Middlesex County is raising the alarm about “sextortion” scams in which intimate photos or videos of victims are used for blackmail.

Police were called to an address in the Middlesex Center at around 8.37pm on Thursday to make inquiries about complaints of sextortion after a teenager reportedly took a sexually explicit selfie.

The young man claimed an unnamed social media follower said they had located the photo and would share it with the victim’s family and friends unless they paid for it.

The teen made one payment to the unknown suspect, but when asked for a second payment, the teen told their parents and local police what happened, police said.

“The Middlesex OPP reminds the public, especially our teens, to think twice about taking intimate photos and videos,” a police statement said.

It is unclear whether the suspect actually possessed the photo, according to police.

“Keep in mind that there is always a risk in sharing intimate photos on the internet,” said the Middlesex County OPP. “Before you hit ‘send,’ remember that you no longer have control over that image.”

If you fall for a sextortion scam, police recommend intercepting any messages and usernames involved, blocking the account on social media and contacting authorities immediately.

The OPP can be reached at 1-888-310-1122 from anywhere in Ontario.

For more information on current fraud trends, please visit Canadian Anti-Fraud Center website.

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