COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)– Police at the University of Maryland in College Park are investigating an incident where a student paid money to someone who threatened to put nude pictures of him on the web.
Police say those scammers asked for more than a $1,000 from that student. University police say a male student was chatting online with someone when he was convinced to take his clothes off and exchange videos.
Later that day he got a message: “He received a demand from someone saying that if you don’t pay us some money we are going to post these nude pictures of you on the internet on Facebook and so forth,” said Major Marc Limansky of University of Maryland Police.
Investigators say the student wired some of the money then came to police. Now they’re trying to track down who blackmailed him.
“It seems as though this originated somewhere in the Philippines, so this going to be tough going,” said Limansky.
Campus police now reminding other students to take precautions when using the internet.
“It’s surprising that someone would send those photos so easily, especially in a chat room to somebody they don’t know,” said Brianne Tomko, a PhD student at UMD.
“In this day and age with all the social media we have anything you put online is there forever,” said Will Meeder, a junior at UMD.
If you are receiving sextortion threats, you are not alone. Sextortion is such a serious crime that the FBI has released a video warning about it.
According to a recent national study, in 2010 police investigated 5300 sextortion complaints. By 2013, that number was up to 7,000, a 32 percent increase.
Still some students are surprised it happened here.
“I was shocked just because like this University of Maryland. I don’t expect things like this to happen,” said UMD junior Jessica Flores.
Now police are trying to ensure no one else falls victim. Police won’t say exactly how much money the student paid out.
Investigators are warning students not to divulge anything personal to people you don’t know over the internet.