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Greater Trail residents face online extortion attempts

Two people in Greater Trail were victims of attempted online extortion attempts using intimate photos, police say. But in neither case did they send the perpetrator any money.

In the first incident in Fruitvale, the victim sent a nude photo to someone through a social media account after developing a relationship with that person. But the suspect then threatened to post the photo online unless the victim sent $500. The victim immediately contacted RCMP instead.

Police told the victim to cut off contact with the suspect. Police investigated but couldn’t identify who was responsible.

In the second incident the next day, someone targeted a victim in the Trail area, threatening to post intimate images unless they were paid.

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The victim that the images were created nine years ago and was surprised about them resurfacing, police said.

In this case the victim also contacted police, who offered the same advice. They couldn’t identify the suspect in this case either.

Sgt. Mike Wicentowich noted in a news release that he recently attended an event that provided information about online extortion. In one case, a victim was out $50,000 before police intervened.

“Remember that you are not alone,” he said. “Please reach out to the police immediately if someone is attempting to take advantage of you online. The police can help stop the crime from occurring to you.

“You can best protect yourself by not sending images. Please remember that this kind of material is easily shared and lasts forever once released onto the internet.”

Beware of local rental fraud

Police say a Ymir couple avoided falling prey to a rental scam.

They were looking for a place in Trail and responded to an online ad about a place in the 300 block of 9th Avenue.

The suspect asked them to sign a rental agreement and send a deposit before meeting them and showing them the place.

The couple checked out the property first and located the real owner who confirmed it wasn’t for rent. They reported it to police, but the suspect has not been identified.

“The couple in this incident did the right thing in this situation,” Wicentowich said. “Please use extra caution when dealing with anyone online especially when asked for money immediately.”

Power pole damaged in Oasis crash

A 45-year-old Oasis man crashed his vehicle into a power pole at the Hanna Drive and Highway 22 intersection on Saturday evening.

He told police he lost control on the snowy road. He wasn’t injured but the vehicle was towed.

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