Scams This Week 6/28/22

June 28, 2022

There has been a dramatic increase in sextortion and sugar daddy scams and the results can be devastating, both emotionally and financially.  It is so important to discuss this scam with anyone in your family who has access to social media.

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Sextortion Scams: These scams often target males and females from 16 to 25 years old, who may be online dating.  That being said, scammers will go after anyone they can. For example, if they can convince a husband, wife or someone in a committed relationship to chat and/or send explicit pictures, that could result in a bigger payday for these scammers.

The Original Online Sextortion: You recieved a random email that indicated a scammer had a video of you watching porn online and they would send that video to friends and family if you did not pay.  These were mass e-mails that went out to millions hoping to get a response from a few.  That scam has evolved to a more personal and evasive scam.

Social Media Sextortion: It starts with a cold contact from a profile. The profile may be someone from your past, or just a random attractive person.  The profile could be catfished or could even be an account stolen from a real friend. From this point, the scammer will attempt to have you send explicit(nude) photos of yourself to them. The scammer may also send nude photos they have obtained from other victims or the internet and pretend it's them in the photos. Once communication starts there are three ways the scammer will take the scam based on your response.

You refuse to send any explicit photographs:

  • They pull a profile picture and superimpose your head on a naked picture. They will then threaten to send this picture out to all your friends and family if you do not pay with gift cards or crypto-currency.
  • They will attempt to get you to click on a link, add an app, or even try to take over your account through a verification code scam. They may even attempt to gain access your devices and steal your photos.  If they can find a nude photograph they threaten to send the picture out to your friends and family if you do not pay with gift cards or crypto-currency.

You send an explicit photograph or video:

  • If you send an explicit picture the scammer can use, they will threaten you that if you do not pay with gift cards or crypto-currency the picture will be sent out.

It is important to know that the scammers will likely send the picture out regardless of what you do.  Even if you pay they will ask for more money until you cannot pay and the picture will be sent out. If you do not pay they will still send the picture out.  The best thing to do is not to send any picture you do not want your family and friends to see. And remember, do not ever give someone access to your personal electronic devices.

If you get caught up in this type of scam it is not the end of the world.  It is now time to let your friends and family know that you were hacked or are being scammed and the scammer has obtained photos that they claim are you.  Let your friends and family know to not open anything from the scammer’s profile or any links. Let them know the pictures are altered and to not respond to this scammer. Make sure you block the scammer profile and change all your passwords depending on your communication.

This is an important scam that your teens and young adults should know about.

Find more scam prevention tips on our website.

You can add Det. Thorne on Facebook or follow @DetThorneBPD on Twitter.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

(208) 570-6180 | BPDMedialine@cityofboise.org

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