Maryland State Police remind parents of online safety and to be aware of online scams involving the sexual extortion of minors. The Maryland State Police have received numerous reports of minors being contacted by other social media users who begin chatting with them via messaging services such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. Social media platforms may provide users the ability to communicate with other users via messaging services. Investigators believe online predators may often give the impression they are romantically interested in the minor being targeted, to gain their trust. As the chats progress, the suspect user will request sexually illicit photographs of the minor, and might even send photographs back to the minor in return. If a minor sends a sexually illicit photograph of themselves to the suspect account, the suspect user will proceed to demand the minor send them money, typically in the form of gift card and prepaid credit card numbers that are readily available at most stores. The suspect accounts advise that if money is not sent, the illicit photographs of the minor will be sent to family, friends, and posted online accompanied by distasteful comments about the minor. While not always, investigators have found that the […]
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