TORONTO, Aug. 24 (UPI) — Toronto police on Monday said they have received two unconfirmed reports of suicides along with a number of other crimes allegedly linked to the release of data from the Ashley Madison website earlier in the month.
“As of this morning, we have two unconfirmed reports of suicides that are associated because of the leak of Ashley Madison customers’ profiles,” Toronto police service staff superintendent Bryce Evans said at a news conference.
He offered no other details about when or where the alleged suicides took place.
Evans said the breach of the cheating website — in which more than 30 million email addresses and other information were released by hackers calling themselves the Impact Team — has also spun off hate crimes and scams.
“The ripple effect of the Impact Team’s actions has and will continue to have long term social and economic impacts and they have already sparked spinoffs of crimes and further victimization,” Evans said. “This is very unique and the problem is, the victimization is around the world.”
Evans warned Ashley Madison clients not to click on links to websites offering to erase their name from the leaked data for a fee.
“By clicking on these links, you are exposing your computer to adware, spyware, malware and viruses,” he said. “Multiple sites have now downloaded [the Ashley Madison user database] and are present. Nobody is going to be able to erase that information. There are confirmed cases of people trying to extort Ashley Madison clients.”
So far, police have not apprehended any suspects or laid any charges in the hacking case. Avid Life Media, the Toronto-based company that runs the website, has offered $500,000 to anyone offering information leading to an arrest in the case.