Extortion scams targeting male teens on Instagram, local police say

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – A joint inter-agency law enforcement task force is investigating several local cases of “sextortion” blackmail cases.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said the Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team is looking into seven cases of sexual extortion involving juvenile males on Instagram.

JCSO explained, “The scammer poses as a young woman who befriends the victim, starts a chat-based dialogue, shares pornography they claim is them, and requests a sexually explicit image of the victim. Once that image is shared, the suspect threatens to send it to the victim’s friends and followers on Instagram unless money is wired to their account.”

The sheriff’s office said scams like these have led to suicide and suicide attempts for victims involved.

“To make sure your child does not become a victim, parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing on social media,” JCSO said. “Make sure your child’s social media accounts are private and do not reveal personal information to the public. If your child becomes a victim of “sextortion” immediately block and report the offending account. Report any contacts to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at https://report.cybertip.org/

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