#CyberFLASH: Red Deer men targeted by sextortion scam

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RCMP are investigating an extortion scam after two Red Deer men were “lured into compromising online encounters” by strangers on the internet.

Police say both victims were approached online in October by women.

The women lured the men over the internet “and then threatened to post the images online unless they were paid by their victims,” Red Deer RCMP said in a news release Wednesday.

Neither victim was defrauded of money, police said. In both cases, the women halted communication with their targets after the men informed them they were reporting them to police.

RCMP suspect there may be even more cases of this type of extortion happening in the community, but victims “may be too embarrassed to report it.”

Furthermore, investigators say these online profiles are usually fake and the scammers live in different countries, making prosecution impossible.

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#CyberFLASH: Suicides And Extortion Linked To Ashley Madison Data Hack

tech-computer-web-marriageTwo people in Canada with personal information allegedly associated with the Ashley Madison Data Hack are reported to have committed suicide as a result of the leak from the adultery website. Toronto police’s acting staff Superintendent, Bryce Evans, said on Monday morning, that while the deaths were as yet unconfirmed, fallout from the Ashley Madison hack had already led to extortion attempts.

The “Impact Team,” the group of hackers responsible for the hack and subsequent release of over 33 million users’ details, had accused Ashley Madison of operational incompetence, deceit, and gaining “profits on the pain of others.” The hackers broke into Ashley Madison’s website in July, and stole the information then, giving Ashley Madison a month to close down site. Ashley Madison did not comply with the order.

“This is affecting all of us,” said Bryce. “The social impact behind this leak. We’re talking about families, we’re talking about children, we’re talking about wives, their male partners.” Evans also stated that there have been several confirmed attempts by criminal fraternities to extort and expose Ashley Madison clients unless money was handed over.

Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison’s Canadian based parent company has offered a $378k reward for information on the hackers, but so far there have been no takers.

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#CyberFLASH: Police issue public safety alert about online dating scam

image-2Police 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.”

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Drake International the latest victim of hacking, extortion scheme against companies

images-77Drake International, the Canadian-based job placement firm, confirmed Wednesday that it has been the victim of a hacking scheme by a group seeking to extort payment in exchange for not releasing the personal information of people who have used Drake’s services.

With offices in nine countries, Drake has become the latest victim in an increasingly common racket where companies face extortion threats from shadowy groups of hackers after a security breach. It’s a problem that may be too big for many businesses to solve themselves, but one they must address, or they face the risk of damage to their reputations and a potential loss of business.

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