Police Investigate “Sextortion”

A Johnston County teenager lost money in an extortion scam but police don’t think there is anything they can do to locate the suspect or recover the money.

The 19 year-old reported to Smithfield Police he had befriended a woman over social media.  They soon began making video calls over the Internet, known as FaceTime.

One of the video chats reportedly turned sexually explicit for the male.  The female, authorities believe may be in the Philippines, told the teen she had videotaped the sexually explicit chat and unless he paid her $200 she would post the video on the Internet.    

Police Captain R.K. Powell said the teen complied and paid the money.  But since the female lives out of the country it would be difficult to locate the person or to file criminal charges.  

This is not a new scam. This version of blackmail is a form of “sextortion”, which involves threats to publicly release revealing images of a person.  In this case and many others, the images are often videotaped without the victims consent.