‘World lost a good person’: Manitoba parents warn of global sextortion targeting teenage boys

Daniel Lints was variety and accountable with a witty sense of humour. The agricultural Manitoba teenager had a vibrant future and loving household. He performed hockey and was a relentless customer to the close by group pool.

He was a traditional and completely satisfied 17-year-old till one chilly February day, he accepted a message request from what seemed to be a sexy younger lady on Snapchat.

She coerced him into sending an specific picture. In minutes he was being blackmailed and inside three hours he took his personal life.

“I really feel like he was murdered,” says Derek Lints, Daniel’s father, as tears stream down his cheeks.

Lints and his spouse, Jill, say they’re coping with unimaginable tragedy. Daniel, whom most individuals referred to as Danny, was the sufferer of a rising world sextortion scheme that’s largely concentrating on teenage boys.

Derek Lints wipes away tears as he speaks about his son Danny at his dwelling in Pilot Mound, Man. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

“I do know Danny would have made a distinction on this world,” Jill Lints says as she sits on the household’s kitchen desk in Pilot Mound, Man., 180 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

“He would have performed good issues and he already did do good issues. The world misplaced particular person.”

Younger individuals susceptible

Policing businesses around the globe have been sending out pressing warnings about sextortion in opposition to boys.

The ruse is subtle, says Stephen Sauer, director of on the Canadian Centre for Baby Safety. Organized crime rings based mostly abroad pose as younger girls on social media platforms that youngsters use reminiscent of Snapchat and Instagram.

They attain out to teenagers and provides them sexual consideration shortly. Customers reap the benefits of the younger boys’ stage of improvement and impulsiveness, and swiftly ask for a picture or a video, Sauer says.

Then the threats start.   

Jill and Derek Lints maintain a team-signed hockey jersey of their son Daniel’s bed room. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

Sauer says the nameless customers, realizing there can be a way of disgrace, say they are going to ship the pictures to household and mates if the teenagers do not give them cash.

“Younger individuals particularly are fairly susceptible to this.” he says. “They’re nonetheless creating their sense of self. They’re
nonetheless creating their identification and infrequently they’re participating in sexual exploration.”

Most of the youngsters — like Danny — empty their financial institution accounts. However, too usually, when the blackmail continues, they take their very own lives.

The place to get assist

Go to Canada’s nationwide cyber tip line to report on-line sexual abuse/exploitation, the non-consensual distribution of intimate photographs or different types of on-line victimization of youngsters.

If a few little one who’s in fast hazard or threat, name 911 or your native police.

The RCMP’s Nationwide Baby Exploitation Crime Centre acquired a complete of 52,306 complaints for the 12 months 2020-21 — a 510 per cent enhance from seven years earlier. Consultants have pointed to rising on-line exercise throughout the pandemic as a contributing issue.

Cybertip, Canada’s tip line for reporting on-line little one sexual abuse, had a mean of 20 stories a month for this sort of
sexploitation in 2021. It shot as much as 55 a month this 12 months and elevated additional to 75 stories in Could.

Mounties from coast to coast have put out warnings. Calgary police cautioned earlier this month that they’ve had almost 50 instances in that metropolis alone because the 12 months started. “We imagine these crimes are vastly under-reported,” Workers Sgt. Graeme Smiley mentioned.

Police are telling dad and mom to speak with their youngsters about on-line dangers. RCMP say any sexploitation sufferer ought to cease communication with the instigator and notify a trusted grownup, Cybertip or police.

Danny’s dad and mom say at the very least two different boys of their small Manitoba group had been focused within the months since their son’s dying.

Pilot Mound, with a inhabitants of simply over 600, was the perfect place to boost their son and two daughters, they are saying. Individuals look out for one another and there is a sense of security.

Jill and Derek Lints spend time in a memorial backyard for his or her son. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

They by no means anticipated a menace from internationally would slip in by way of social media.

Daniel was calm and contented. He labored onerous and purchased his first cell pill together with his personal financial savings to play video games with mates.

Derek Lints talked to his son about staying protected on-line.

As Daniel grew older, he was given extra freedom on-line. He informed his household a few presentation at college about Amanda Todd, who took her personal life at age 15 in 2012 after years of on-line sextortion.

A Dutch citizen is on trial in British Columbia and has pleaded not responsible to 5 expenses, together with felony harassment and communication with a teenager to commit a sexual offence.

One in three web customers on the planet is a baby — one in 5 in Canada. Many nations are pressuring social media firms to make sure platforms are protected for that demographic.

The European Union just lately agreed on landmark regulation for tech giants. Australia and New Zealand are shifting in the identical path.

Canada has created a web based security advisory council to kind a regulatory framework to deal with dangerous content material on-line.

Sauer says social media platforms have a duty to maintain youngsters protected. There’s way more they may do, he says.

“There appears to be a scarcity of will and a scarcity of stress and clearly a scarcity of regulation on this area.”

Greater than 10 years after Todd’s dying, the Lintses are pissed off that kids are nonetheless endangered. They need each guardian and teenager to pay attention to sextortion scams. They need stress on social media firms to maintain kids protected.

“That is our means of combating again in opposition to these predators that stole Danny from us. That is what we are able to do proper now,” Jill Lints mentioned. “We will inform all people.”

Should you or somebody is struggling, here is the place to get assist:

This information from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines how you can speak about suicide with somebody you are nervous about.

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