Police have issued a public safety alert about an online extortion scam targeting dating website users.

According to police, cyber criminals from outside Canada are creating fake profiles on several online dating sites that list their geographic location as Toronto.

The scammers then contact the victim and engage in flirtatious chats that become sexual in nature.

At some point, police say the scammers encourage the victim to disrobe or engage in sexual behavior via video chat.

Once the victim engages in compromising behavior on camera, police say the scammers end the chat, research the victim using social media sites and then send them a message threatening to send the incriminating video to a list of their friends unless they make a monetary payment.

The scam is being reported with “increasing frequency” in Toronto, according to police.

“The Toronto Police Service urges internet users to employ the privacy filters offered by social media

providers to protect their personal information,” the public safety alert states. “Everyone is reminded that, whether in social interaction, or commercial buy/sell transactions, they should always verify the identity of an internet contact in person before deciding to trust that person.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (416) 808-3300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (416) 222-TIPS (8477).

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