Police warn about increase in online sextortion schemes

Criminals are finding ways to convince people to send compromising photos, then threatening to share them if the victim doesn't send money.  It's one that's been around for a while, but Kennesaw Police say lately they've been seeing more and more cases of it.

"It's extortion through social media.  As soon as they receive an intimate picture or private picture they immediately say if you don't give me "X" amount of dollars I'm going to share it with your friends and family

Investigators say in a recent case, the victim paid the scammer, but it didn't stop there.

"Initially requested 300 dollars and once the person received 300 dollars they came back again and requested 3000 dollars," said Officer Buchanan.

Kennesaw Police are currently working with several other jurisdictions on one particular case where 300 people fell victim to the same scammer.

Often times the victim will pay to protect their privacy, but it doesn't always work.

"The  sad thing is regardless of whether they pay or not sometimes they still release the pictures anyway," said Officer Buchanan.

Investigators say don't give in to the demands, contact the police.

Kennesaw police say they've seen victims from middle school to middle-aged adults. They say make sure you know who you're communicating with online.

"If you send something to someone make sure you have 100 percent faith and trust in this person before you decide to do it.  Remember when you send something on the internet, once it is sent you can't unsend it," said Officer Buchanan.

While this can happen to anyone, police are urging parents to make sure they know who their kids are talking to online, know which social media platforms they use, and monitor their accounts.