It began with a contact by Snapchat. A 14-year-old Dutchess County boy described to the I-Crew what occurred after a “girl” friended him.
“We started talking and she sent me photos and asked me to send some back,” he mentioned.
Sadly, these specific images fell proper into the entice of an extortionist posing because the woman. “She” demanded $800 — or threatened to ship the images on social media to the boy’s household, his mates and his faculty.
The sufferer informed his mother, who obtained the revealing photograph on her social media account.
“He was scared. He didn’t know where else those photos might end up,” the mom, who did not want to be identigied, informed the I-Crew.
Then, the mother says, got here extra threats. The boy mentioned somebody referred to as him by Snaphat, demanding the cash.
The household went to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s workplace. It turns on the market could also be as many as 5 further victims.
“The situations are the identical. They ask for cash or threaten to share compromising images,” mentioned Detective Jeffrey Cohen.
He mentioned he doesn’t know if images have been really extensively shared or if cash was paid by the opposite victims. The 14-year-old was informed his picture had been shared on a social media platform.
“The message is to by no means ship specific images on any social media platform. It doesn’t ‘vanish’ even when that’s the promise,” Sheriff Kirk Imperati mentioned.
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The Dutchess County District Lawyer mentioned it expedited subpoenas to each Snapchat and Instagram.
The I-Crew didn’t get a response from Instagram, however a Snapchat spokesperson supplied a prolonged assertion, saying partially: “Sexual exploitation and extortion of any kind is unacceptable on our platform and violates our policies. We routinely work with safety experts and law enforcement to help combat it. We have also rolled out a new app safety tools called ‘Family Center,’ with the goal of giving parents more insight into who their teens are communicating with on Snapchat.”
The mom of the 14–year-old nonetheless doesn’t perceive how specific images of her son have been in a position to be distributed with out permission. She is simply glad her son trusted her sufficient to disclose the blackmail.
“It is terrifying to think that someone is taking advantage. And what might happen if a teen doesn’t have a parent they can talk to?” the mom requested.
The I-Crew has realized of an analogous scheme in East Fishkill the place there was an arrest. You probably have any details about related circumstances, e-mail: Sarah.email@example.com.