URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Another University of Illinois student is out of some money after U of I Police officials said he was the latest victim of sexual extortion on campus.
Officials reported that the scam happened on Sunday when an unknown person contacted the student through social media and encouraged him to send intimate photos of himself. After the photos were sent, the scammer threatened to send the photos to the victim’s social media contacts unless he paid $500. The victim complied with the demand.
This is the seventh reported case of students being targeted in this way since mid-January. The amount of money scammers demand has varied from between a few hundred dollars (such as this case) and a few thousand dollars. At least three of these scams (including the latest one) resulted in the victims paying the offenders.
UIPD officials said there are a few steps people can take to avoid becoming victims of this scam tactic:
- If engaging in intimate conversations online, it is important that one trusts the other person and that everyone involved is a consenting adult.
- Do not share personal information on social media. Scammers can use that information to later convince victims that they are someone else.
- Use strong privacy settings and do not add someone as a friend if they are not personally known.
People who are unsure if they are dealing with a scam can contact the UIPD by calling 217-333-1216.