Georgetown male arrested in online extortion

Published June 22, 2021 at 4:11 pm

Halton police have arrested a male as a result of an online extortion investigation.

Police say in August of 2020, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) began an online extortion investigation after a victim had reported being repeatedly contacted online and asked to send a nude image in exchange for money.

According to police, the victim was assured the image would only be viewed for a few seconds and then deleted.

Police say after receiving the image, the suspect saved it and threatened to distribute it online unless a sum of money was paid, however, no money was exchanged.

According to police, on June 12, 2021, the suspect, Benjamin Haden, a 19-year-old from Georgetown was arrested and a search warrant was executed at his residence resulting in numerous electronic devices being seized by police.

Haden has been charged with extortion (2 counts), according to police.

Haden was also held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Police believe there may be additional victims in the community and are asking anyone who had contact with the following online identities to contact police:

  • Ben_Haden0821
  • Zander_Laudry20
  • Nick_Smith
  • James_Hamilton
  • S_man8080

The HRPS is also encouraging parents to discuss online “sextortion” with their children and if it is believed that anyone has fallen victim to this type of crime, police should be contacted immediately.

Police would also like to remind the public that all images shared over the internet can be saved without your knowledge, to never send images to unknown persons over the internet and to increase all privacy and security settings on all of your social media accounts.

If anyone has information in relation to this investigation or has been victimized by the above online identities, please contact Detective Paul Harrower #9065 of the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2219.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

For additional internet safety tips, click here.

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