Montreal police are warning young people to be careful online after the number of sextortion cases they’ve seen has risen dramatically.
The force says its child sex exploitation unit has already received more than 100 complaints this year, compared to about 30 at the same time last year.
Police say victims are most often young men between the ages of 14 and 17 who are contacted online by people posing as teen girls.
The perpetrator builds the victim’s trust before asking for intimate photos or videos, only to threaten to publish the images or send them to family and friends if a payment isn’t sent.
Police are suggesting that young people use a pseudonym online, and should not reveal their true age, hometown or interests.
Officers are also warning people not to undress in front of a camera and to cease communication with the extorter and contact police if they are targeted.