A list of facts about sextortion, a type of blackmail that can turn deadly
Police in Prince George, B.C., are reporting that a 12-year-old boy died by suicide in October after falling victim to online sextortion. A person uses a keyboard in North Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, November 27, 2023 6:36PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 27, 2023 6:37PM EST
Police in Prince George, B.C., say a 12-year-old boy died by suicide in October after falling victim to online sextortion. Here are some facts about sextortion:
— Sextortion is a kind of blackmail in which the perpetrator threatens to reveal a person's online sexual activity, such as intimate photos that are often obtained by deception.
— A review of 322 sextortion cases in July last year that were sent to the national sexual abuse tip line Cybertip.ca found that when gender was known, 92 per cent involved boys or young men.
— Statistics Canada reported last year that police-reported extortion cases in Canada rose by nearly 300 per cent in the last decade.
— StatCan says non-consensual distribution of intimate images involving adult or child victims increased by 194 cases in 2021, a nine-per-cent jump from the year before, and a 52-per-cent increase compared with the previous five-year average.
— Police say victims of sextortion should stop communication with their blackmailer immediately, not agree to their demands, deactivate their online account and seek help.
— Sextortion gained national attention more than a decade ago when 15-year-old Amanda Todd from Port Coquitlam, B.C., died by suicide after posting a video using flash cards to describe being tormented by an anonymous cyberbully. It has been watched more than 14 million times.
— Todd's tormentor, Dutch national Aydin Coban, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in a Canadian trial but his sentence will be served in the Netherlands, where a decision about how to convert the sentence hasn't yet occurred.