03/18/2015 02:01 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT

Rise In 'Sextortion' Cases Prompts Warning From B.C. RCMP

RCMP are warning people to be wary of dating websites.

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RICHMOND, B.C. - RCMP in British Columbia are issuing a public warning following an increase in so-called "sextortion" cases.

Mounties in Richmond, B.C., say victims are befriended online through dating websites and are persuaded to perform intimate acts in front web cameras, which are recorded without the victim's knowledge.

Police say the suspect then threatens to release the recording online unless the victim pays.

RCMP are warning people to be wary of contacts made through dating websites.

Reluctance to meet in person is often a warning sign, along with agreeing to talk only at certain hours, and police say initial contact may be innocuous and have no intimate component for days or weeks.

Const. Quinn Provost of the RCMP Serious Crimes Unit says feelings of shame are common in this type of crime and it's important for victims to know that a support network is available.


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