October is Cyber Awareness Security Month

October 04, 2016

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and BBB work together at many points throughout the year to raise awareness of scams and fraud affecting Canadians. CAFC has created Cyber Awareness Security Month to bring attention to the need to make sure your personal and financial information is protected while online.

This blog was prepared by the CFAC highlight information on Extortion and Sextortion scams targeting Canadian consumers and businesses.

Extortion scams come in a variety of forms. The most prevalent online are Ransomware and Sextortion scams.


Victims receive a pop‐up message on their computer stating something similar to “this IP address was used to visit websites containing pornography, child pornography, zoophile and child abuse. Your computer also contains video files with pornographic content, elements of violence and spam messages with terrorist motives.” The messages are engineered to appear as if coming from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and tell consumers to pay to unlock their computer.

Warning signs – How to protect yourself:

  • Beware of pop‐up messages or a banner with a ransom request.
  • Be wary of free downloads and website access, such as music, games, movies and adult sites. They may install harmful programs without you knowing.
  • Make regular back‐ups of important files and keep your operating system and software up to date.


Victims are lured into an online relationship through social media or pornographic websites. As the relationship builds, victims are encouraged to use the computer’s camera and the scammer will coerce the victim to perform a sexual act on camera. The victim is later advised that the event was recorded and to pay a fee or the video will be released.

Warning signs – How to protect yourself:

  • Deny any requests to perform an illicit act over the internet.
  • Disable your webcam or any other camera connected to the internet when you are not using it. Hackers are able to obtain remote access and record.
  • Carefully consider who you are sharing explicit videos and photographs with.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre at 1‐
888‐495‐8501 or report online at http://www.antifraudcentre.ca