Delta Police are cautioning the public about an extortion scam which has targeted a number of Delta residents.
In a press release issued Friday afternoon (Feb. 8), police outlined a scheme in which a man or teenage male is contacted through social media by someone who feigns building a relationship with him then subsequently threatens him with the release of compromising materials.
In an instance reported to police on Feb. 8, a man relayed that a conversation with a woman apparently residing overseas escalated to the point where she was showing herself partially undressed and encouraging the man to reciprocate.
The woman then claimed to have recorded the interaction and demanded $1,500 or she would post the video to social media. She demanded the money be transferred through a digital transfer process commonly available worldwide.
The man did not transfer the money and instead contacted Delta police, who advised him to immediately cease contact with the woman. Police’s initial investigation determined the woman’s social media account was fake.
“Our officers are cautioning people to be careful when embarking upon online relationships, particularly when the other party lives overseas,” Delta Police Department public affairs manager Cris Leykauf said in a press release. “Taking part in revealing videos is just as risky as sending naked photos, as there is the possibility for extortion.”
There have been at least three recent instances of this scam reported to Delta police, and each time the suspect appears to be based in the Philippines. In the other instances the victims did not necessarily share any revealing imagery, however it was threatened that their faces would be photoshopped onto other naked photos.
Police caution that any money transferred in such a situation will likely be impossible to recover.