Saskatchewan. RCMP warn of escort service text extortion scam

The Saskatchewan RCMP joins the Regina Police Service (RPS) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) in warning the public of a new scam involving a text message, demand for payment and threats of violence against victims and their relatives.

« In each report, the complainant received a text message from a sender claiming to be from an escort company, accusing the victim of using their services without paying, » an RCMP statement said.

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Regina police warn of new scam with victims at risk

“The sender of the text messages then demands payment and informs the victim that failure to pay will put their personal safety or that of their family or friends at risk. These text messages were also accompanied by graphic images of violent scenarios, including assaults and homicides.

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Earlier this week, the Regina Police Department issued a warning about the same extortion-based scam.

« They use phrases like ‘rip you apart, chop off your head’, very, very violent and very alarming things, » said Elizabeth Popowich, RPS public information and strategic communications manager.

“We understand from communication with other agencies … that there have been reports received across Canada, but I would say that in Regina we have only started to see reports in the last two weeks approximately. We’ve only had five or six reports so far.

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Saskatchewan police issue warning over text extortion scam

Saskatchewan police issue warning over text extortion scam

Police are urging anyone faced with such a scenario to remain calm and think critically.

“Don’t react emotionally. Don’t do anything quickly. In other words, don’t send money. Don’t react. Try to be calm and be a bit objective.

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A fraud alert issued on July 22 by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center warns of an « increase in reports of violent extortion text messages. »

« The messages claim that the victims used or canceled a service and wasted the suspect’s valuable time, » the alert reads.

“The messages threaten that if payment is not sent, you and your family could be targeted and harmed. Some of the reports show that the posts may also include pictures of weapons as a further attempt to intimidate victims. According to the reports received, the victims did not use the service mentioned by the scammers. »

The CAFC asks anyone who receives a threatening message to report the details to the CAFC after contacting the police.

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