Delaware State Police said they are investigating possible online sexual extortion cases, and are offering advice to the public on how to avoid becoming a victim of scammers.
Police said they have received complaints about people receiving emails, texts, and chat room invitations, with many asking the recipient to send photos in various stages of undress, including nudes.
They said those who have responded have then received a solicitation for money, with a lack of response leading to a threat that the photo(s) will then be shared with the recipient's friends, employers, or the public. Potentially causing embarrassment or alarm.
Police offered the following advice for anyone who receives those requests for photos.
- NEVER send anyone a photo or information of yourself that you would not share publicly, especially to individuals you don’t know. If you are over the age of 18, it is not a crime to willingly send a photo unless there is an exchange of money from a threat.
- Remember… SEND IS FOREVER.
- IGNORE the request (DON’T SEND ANYTHING THEY REQUEST) and advise you will be contacting the police.
They said those who ignore the first communication for photos typically have not been bothered again, as the scammers move on to other potential willing targets.
If you have been a victim of this scam/fraud because of exchanging US Currency, please contact Sgt. K. Wells of the Delaware State Police High Tech Crimes Unit 302.741.2766.
Police did not provide info on how many potential cases they are investigating, or how many Delawareans have fallen victim to the scammers.