Saskatchewan ICE unit says 31 ‘sextortion’ crimes reported since November 2022

Saskatchewan's Internet Child Exploitation unit has seen online "sextortion" cases spike in the past few months, reporting 31 new cases in the province since November 2022.

"Often times, people aren't who they say they are," said Staff Sgt. Tim Failler, provincial ICE unit coordinator. "People can come up with very good fake profiles on Snapchat

and Instagram." He said that they initiate conversations online with the child after they build a relationship with them. "They are requesting videos or images of

the child undressed." Failler said that one of the major concerns regarding children using the internet across the country is sextortion, which is when an online

perpetrator threatens to send explicit images or videos of an individual to other people if they do not comply with their demands. However, ICE is experiencing difficulty

investigating the reports. "The suspects are often times overseas and in areas that the police don't have the same authority as we do here in Canada," Failler said. 

"I have concerns about what's available on social media, but I think if you are parenting and being open and honest with your child, it's not a big concern," said a Regina

resident. She said her child and herself talk about everything regarding social media. "We talk about what she is looking at and what she is allowed to look at. If

she sees stuff, she is not sure about, she asks me about it."