CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
Social media scam targets children for explicit pictures, money
HEBER, Utah — A social media scam is making its rounds, targeting children through direct messages.
The Heber City Police Department used Facebook this week to warn parents, saying online scammers want to extort money and explicit photos from victims.
The HCPD warned that these scams often come to children from a direct message on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. But, police noted, communication can also happen outside of those platforms.
The HCPD said the scammers pose as the same age as the victim and try to entice the victim to conduct a live stream or send them photos, generally sexual in nature.
After the victim sends the suggestive content, the scammer ends the feed and sends them a message that they have to pay a certain amount of money or they will share that content with everyone on their friends’ list.
Even if the victim pays the initial price, the scammers will continue to harass the victim demanding money.
The HCPD asked parents to educate their children on social media safety, and help them learn to identify possible scams.
Police asked that anyone who is a victim of this scam contact their local police or sheriff’s office.
Related: New scam: borrowing a phone and accessing Venmo
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