Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sextortion' online scam costs B.C. foreign exchange student $1,000

An article by Katie Derosa
A 20-year-old foreign exchange student living on Vancouver Island was scammed out of $1,000 in a “sextortion” case, in which a woman threatened to post naked photos of him online unless he gave her money.
Oak Bay police are investigating and sending out a warning to prevent other sexual extortion cases.
On March 10, the student was talking online to a woman who said she was living in the Philippines. At some point in the video chat, the woman asked the man to disrobe, and recorded the session without him knowing, said Oak Bay police spokesman Const. Rick Anthony.
The woman threatened to post the photos or video on the Internet and Facebook unless he wired money to her.
The man complied and sent $1,000. He has no idea who the woman is, Anthony said.
The student reported the crime to Oak Bay police. Officers told him while they can’t recover the money, he should ignore any future contact from the scammer and report further extortion attempts to police.
“This is a very unfortunate and very unsavoury situation,” Anthony said, saying the victim feels mortified and taken advantage of. “It’s inherently dangerous for people to be going online and making these contacts and providing way too much information or providing way too much of yourself.”
Anthony, a former fraud detective with Victoria police, said these online scams are typically run by international organized crime rings who know local police departments don’t have the budget to chase fraudsters across several countries.
“When you’re talking about this kind of scam ... it’s extremely time-consuming and extremely hard to pin down a single person because it could be a dozen people running this scam,” Anthony said. “Bad guys know that we’re not going to chase them all over the world for a few thousand dollars.”
Cybercrime is the fastest-growing crime trend facing law enforcement agencies across the world, according to Interpol.
Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd took her life in October 2012 after years of being tormented online, including being blackmailed by an unknown person who convinced her to expose herself on a webcam and then spread the photos over the Internet.
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