SIDNEY — Deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are warning area residents to be extra cautious about who they “friend” on social media platforms as a result of a “sextortion” case they are investigating involving a Shelby County student.
Deputies report the victim was being threatened by an unknown person regarding sending nude photos of the student, which the suspect had obtained by gaining access to the victim’s cellular phone. The suspect also reportedly took over the student’s Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook accounts and then began posting as that person.
Once the suspect gained control of the social media accounts, the individual began demanding between $500 to $750 to end the sending of nude photos and to give the student access to the social media accounts again.
As the investigation continued, deputies were able to identify the location of the IP address. They advise that anyone with the following contacts in their Snapchat, Twitter or Facebook accounts to delete these individuals who have been involved in these types of incidents: Christian P, christianpp55; Paige Harer, pageypoo172; Hailey Ng or Susu, mariana _justen.
In addition, anyone who has been contacted by these individuals should perform a factory reset of their phones or any device they use to access social media accounts.
Also, deputies advise consumers not open any e-mails with an unknown attachment or a message for you to reset your password.
According to the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children’s Cyber Division, these types of incidents are known as “sextortion,” in which non-physical forms of coercion are utilized, such as blackmail to obtain sexual content and money from the child. Direct questions or concerns to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at (937) 494-2117.