FBI: Michigan teen's suicide caused by sextortion from online predator amid rise in cases
DETROIT (FOX 2) - FOX 2 - If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741
CLICK HERE https://afsp.org/risk-factors-protective-factors-and-warning-signs for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.
Authorities say the suicide of a Michigan teen was the result of him being a victim of sextortion and apparently blackmailed.
Investigators say 17-year-old Jordan Demay was pressured to pay money in exchange for pictures he had taken of himself not being sent to his family and Instagram followers.
"In a typical sextortion scheme, the perps tend to be someone whose looking for sexually explicit material from young people," said Special Agent Mara Schneider, FBI. "In the most recent, it’s people looking for money."
The FBI's Detroit Field Office tells FOX 2 it is receiving reports of adults posing as young girls and coercing young boys through social media to produce sexual images and videos.
Once those images or videos are sent, the victim is threatened with exposure, unless they pay the perpetrator.
"In these cases that we’re seeing most recently, it’s young men between the ages of 13 and 17." she said.
In some cases the perps use deception and manipulation to sometimes get the victim - in many cases teen boys - to engage in explicit activity over video, which is then secretly recorded by the predator.
Related: FBI Detroit warns about increase in sextortion cases involving adults targeting boys
"Could be someone located anywhere in the world who is just looking to make money from people who are desperate," she said
Girls are also at risk. A 24-year-old Redford man sentenced on child porn charges sent this text to one of his victims: "No matter how much you run, or wherever you run, I still have your nudes and face."
His MO was persuading girls to produce sexually explicit photos and videos and blackmail them, if they didn’t send more.
"We’d like to prevent our young people from being victimized like this," Schneider said. "Seek help from a trusted adult, contact law enforcement contact the FBI, we are there to help you."
The FBI points out these criminals often target teens but may go after adults as well, adding that predators can have hundreds of victims all over the world.
Speaking up could stop the victimization of so many.
The FBI Detroit Field Office can be reached at (313) 965-2323.
Help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741.