ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – University of Michigan police are warning students not to send nudes after at least two people were blackmailed this week.
Campus police on Thursday sent out a security bulletin titled, “Sextortion Warning,” after two students reported that unknown subjects had attempted to extort money from them in exchange for not publishing explicit pictures or videos online.
Police said both incidents, which occurred November 12 and 14, began with Facebook friend invitations and soon escalated into online chatting and videotaping before a demand for money was made.
What should students do?
If you have received a threat or demand for money to avoid release of pictures or videos, don’t panic, please immediately contact the University of Michigan Police, even if you’ve already paid money. If you’re not on campus, contact your local police agency. Police say they will take your case seriously, dealing with it in confidence and without judgement.
Don’t communicate further with the criminals. Don’t pay anything and DO NOT DELETE ANY CORRESPONDENCE. Take screenshots of all your correspondence. Suspend your Facebook account (don’t delete it) and use the online reporting process to the sites such as Skype and YouTube to have any video blocked. Also consider setting up an alert in case the video resurfaces.
Here are some additional precautions police say you can take to avoid being blackmailed on the internet:
- Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are, or who they say they are.
- Do not open attachments from people you do not know.
- Turn off your electronic devices and web cameras when you are not using them.
To contact U-M police, call 734-763-1131 or send a text to 377911. Those who wish to provide information but remain anonymous may call the campus police tip line at 800-863-1355. In an emergency, always dial 911.