DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Almost everyone has access to the internet in some form, but not everyone you come across on the web has good intentions.
People of all ages use social media and apps connecting one another, including younger people like college students. A deceptive tactic to make people vulnerable online is still sweeping the country. The University of Dayton is providing information and warning students about a scheme known as “sextortion.”
UD’s Department of Public Safety is issuing a warning over a real risk that can harm adults and students.
Sextortion is described in a release by the university as “a form of sexual exploitation typically carried out through social media apps and online games.” According to the FBI, the organization has seen a substantial uptick in cases involving individuals being threatened with something if they do not send over explicit images to the person on the other end of the internet.
How the scam usually begins is a student or anyone, in general, receives a request to be added to talk to them. In most cases, the university says the deceptive person will use an alias to have a higher likelihood of actually matching with the unsuspecting person that is unaware of what was going on. After matching and speaking, the person may ask for explicit photographs of the student or individual.
If the person were to send photographs, the con artist could demand payment from the individual and threaten to release or share the images online, while providing general publicly-found information, which could be available for anyone on the internet to find, UD says.
The Department of Public Safety at UD has reportedly received recent reports of incidents involving sextortion happening. Even if you trust the person that you are talking to, you should not share explicit images of yourself with another person online.
If you believe you have been impacted by the scheme of sextortion, there are ways you are able to report it.
Students enrolled at the University of Dayton are able to contact UD Public Safety at 937-229-2121.
Individuals are also able to file a police report with their local police department and make a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center on their website.