UMPD warns students after sextortion reported

Police are investigating an online sextortion case at the University of Maryland.

COLLEGE PARK, MD (WUSA9) - The student video chatted with a woman and then received a threat to pay more than $1,000, or his nude images would be posted to Facebook, according to University of Maryland Police.

UMPD sent out an alert warning the rest of the student body to be cautious of what they share after one male student reported being the victim of online extortion or sextortion.

"I don't know, it sounds pretty wild. It's kind-of scary I guess,” said 19-year-old UMD student, Timothy Brown.

This is what a lot of the male students said, surprised to hear this happened to a guy. Most students claimed they do not send sexually explicit photos and wouldn’t do anything of the like online, but admitted to knowing a few friends who may do so.

“You hear about it all the time but, someone feels that their life could be in danger for something like that, that's terrible,” said Joely Friedman, a UMD sophomore.

University of Maryland Police say on Sunday, a male student told officers someone online threatened to put his naked photos on Facebook if he did not give them money. Police say it happened on campus, the student apparently took his clothes off in a video chat with the suspect who UMPD says, may be in the Philippines.

The victim did end up paying an undisclosed amount of money the day before he decided to report the crime to police, according to UMPD Spokesperson Marc Limansky.

"He was not going to stop and he was set on sending my picture on whoever he could to - to ruin my reputation,” said Ashley Renolds in an FBI video.

Renolds was 14-years-old when the FBI says a 26-year-old man targeted her in 2009 for more sexually explicit photos. She's now 20, the suspect is behind bars, but authorities say about 250 of nearly 350 victims have not been identified and may still be living in fear.

Sextortion is where the FBI says someone threatens to publicize private material if you don't given them sexual images, favors or money. Sometimes they'll even threaten your family and friends.

Friedman just shook her head Monday. “Even if you think it's private, Snapchat, texting, whatever, once it's out there, it's out there so,” she said.

To protect the victim, campus police have not released the name or the year of the victim.

Authorities say to report sextortion to your local FBI field office or call NCMEC (the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) at 1-800-THE-LOST for any cases involving minors.

UMPD provided the following for any students who may need assistance:

Safety Resources:

University of Maryland Police Department
Emergency Number 301-405-3333/ #3333 from a mobile phone/ 911

UMD Guardian (Mobile Campus Safety App)

Prince George's County Police Department
911 from mobile phone / 301-352-1200 (non-emergency) / 911

UMD Police Walking Escort
Non-Emergency: 301-405-3555


NITE Ride
301-314-6483
http://www.transportation.umd.edu/niteride.html

Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct
TitleIXcoordinator@umd.edu
301-405-1142
http://www.umd.edu/ocrsm/

Help Center (Peer Counseling & Crisis Intervention)
301-314-4357
http://www.umdhelpcenter.org/

Counseling Center
301-314-7651
http://counseling.umd.edu/

CARE (Confidential Services for Sexual Assault/Harassment/Rape)
301-741-3442
http://www.health.umd.edu/care

Health Center
301-314-8180
http://www.health.umd.edu/

UMD Alerts
https://alert.umd.edu 


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