Online gaming is very popular among teenagers and younger kids nowadays. A lot of parents concerned with their children health and wellbeing describing gaming as a sort of addiction, which sometimes lead to health problems, like exhaustion and back problems from sitting in front of the screen all day. But what no one really expects is a Sextortion through an online game, that is just unbelievable.
Police in the Montreal-area is warning parents about online predators using the popular video game Fortnite to lure minors into a sextortion scheme.
Four cases have been reported in the past few weeks, according to police. In three of those cases, minors were threatened, and in one, the victim sent personal photos to the cyber-predator. Sgt. Jean-Luc Tremblay with the Richelieu Saint-Laurent police said the predator, or predators, tried to infiltrate groups of friends by offering them a chance to advance their game in exchange for providing revealing photos.
In these particular cases, the message exchange was done through one of the most popular social networks, Instagram. Then the predator threatened to share the images unless the teen sent even more intimate material.
Fortnite has become the most popular game of 2018, thanks to its surreal mix of first-person shooter action and dance moves.
Police officers are talking about only a few of the children, which got the courage to talk to their parents and describe the situation, parents turned to police, the reports were filed and the investigation is open. But, as officers say, there are probably dozens, if not hundreds, more kids out there in Canada and all over the world, that got in the same situation.
Police are working with school boards in the area to disseminate information about the sextortion. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a national organization based in Winnipeg, works to prevent the online exploitation of children and says it receives about half a dozen reports to its national tipline about similar cases to what is being reported in Quebec.
This problem really appears to have a national scale in Canada and potentially, any person playing this game could become a target, especially young and naive children.
Police are asking for public help, if you or anyone you know is in a similar situation with online gaming, please contact the local police department or you can leave a tip online absolutely anonymously, just visit Crime Stoppers website and leave the information there.