Sextortion blackmailers are using computer game Fortnite as a platform to lure children into sending naked pictures and perform sexual acts, according to Canadian police.
According to reports, scammers have been contacting young gamers via Instagram, promising them codes and guidance to advance through the hugely popular online video game in return for exploitable video footage.
The alarming trend was highlighted by Quebec Police Force, Régie intermunicipale de police Richelieu-Saint-Laurent, who released a press release highlighting “recent cases using Fortnite games as bait by offering a code to access a higher level.
“Suspects who use fake avatars successfully integrate groups of friends from where they launch the offer, and thus privately trap their victims.”
They go onto warn how the predators use “cunning” techniques, pushing their victim to remove clothing and perform sexual acts, before demanding sums of money in return for keeping the photo’s from public view.
Minecraft and other popular games also targeted
In total the Canadian police force have encountered four examples of scammers trying to ensnare children into sending explicit pictures and/or videos, with one child player sending pictures as a result of the demands.
Police spokesperson Luc Roberge told PC Mag that young players of other games including Minecraft have also been targeted by the scam.
The police department issued advice warning children to refrain from interacting with strangers online.