Online 'sextortion' scam targeting teens, Kamloops RCMP warns

Sex crimes investigators in Kamloops say they have received six reports in the last month from people, some of whom are teenagers, that were blackmailed after sharing "intimate images" online.

In a statement Monday, Mounties said there is "no evidence" the incidents are related, but the "sextortion" scams follow a similar pattern.

In "many cases," according to police, the victims are targeted through social media.

"The fraudster will make contact with the victim and convince them to send a sexual image or perform a sexual act they may be secretly recording," writes Const. Phil Whiles.

"The fraudster then threatens to send the content to others unless the victim sends them money or more content. Particularly concerning, is that some of these reports involve teenagers."

Mounties say it's important for parents or caregivers to talk to teens about online safety and risk.

"It’s an important discussion to have in order to help prevent the discomfort and fear that can follow after the images have already been sent," Wiles said.

This warning follows a similar one out of Mission last month. Police in that city said they had received multiple reports from teenagers who were targeted specifically through SnapChat.