RCMP in Okotoks are cautioning residents of an increase in compromising pictures being shared among youth.
In their latest Mountie Minute release, they report that the increase has led to "an alarming increase in extortion cases."
The use of intimate pictures and videos for blackmail is commonly referred to as "sextortion," and often involves extortionists demanding money or more images from the victim.
Police advise victims of this kind of extortion not to give in to the extortionist's demands, and instead document interactions before blocking them and reporting them to the authorities as well as the platform where the extortion is happening.
They're also reminding locals that education for young people on healthy relationships and consent is crucial to preventing these cases.
"In summary, fostering awareness, trust, and responsible online behavior is paramount in preventing extortion related to compromising pictures. When faced with such a situation, standing firm against extortionists, seeking help, and considering legal action are essential steps to protect oneself and put an end to the cycle of abuse," the release reads.
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, HighRiverOnline and OkotoksOnline encourage you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the HighRiverOnline or OkotoksOnline app.