Grande Prairie RCMP is warning residents about a recent uptick of complaints regarding extortion on social media.

Police say some of the recent cases have started with friend requests on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and dating apps. From there, Mounties say victims have sent nude images to the suspects. Grande Prairie RCMP says the suspects then demand money from the victim, threatening to send their nude images to all of their contacts, friends, and family if they do not.

Mounties suggest that offenders often follow victims’ friends and family, suggesting that they can follow through with the threats.

Authorities say some ways residents can protect themselves from this type of extortion include not sending nude images to people online, especially those you don’t know well. RCMP officers are also reminding residents that offenders may use filters to pretend they are younger than they are, for both images and live streams.

Police say it’s also a good tip to not accept friend requests from someone you don’t know, immediately stop communication from someone demanding money, and keep the information of the person.

For more information to manage instances of sextortion and sexting, you can visit dontgetsextorted.ca and needhelpnow.ca