Do you know who you are talking with on line? The RCMP's Technological Crime Unit is warning residents of the risks of using web cams.
There are online services that allow people to engage in a web cam session with a complete stranger from anywhere in the world. There have been a few instances in this province where the person engaged in what appeared to be a one on one intimate session with a stranger. They soon find out that the other person is not who they observed on the web cam. The other person was simply streaming video to give the impression that it was coming from the web cam. In the process they capture the other person's intimate actions and then threaten to disclose that video to Facebook friends or publish it online if the person doesn't pay a sum of money, or engage in further intimate acts on camera.
Sgt. Jacques Boucher, RCMP Technological Crime Unit, explains, "Anything done online, even if you think it is a private session, could be captured by the other party and then used for extortion."
Sgt. Boucher adds, "Some of these online criminals can project a very believable identity (supported by a Facebook page, personal email account, Instant Messaging account, even provide a phone number) and appear trust worthy. Even in cases where the other person is known there is a risk that embarrassing/intimate/private actions or words could be captured by the other party and disclosed at a later time."
The RCMP Technological Crime Unit urges anyone who becomes a victim of extortion (whether for money or to direct them to do something) should contact the police immediately and keep this in mind:
- Conduct yourself online in a manner that will not put you at risk of being extorted.
- Strictly monitor your children if they have a web cam on their computer.
- Do not delete anything on the computer as it may contain evidence required by police to pursue their investigation.