The Iowa City Police Department has received three separate reports of residents being involved in an online social media extortion scam.
In these instances, a person posing as a young female will send a friend request to a male subject using social media. Over the course of the interaction, conversations are initiated and an online relationship develops. The person, posing as a female, then convinces the victims to participate in personal actions online, which are then recorded using another social media recording application.
After the actions are recorded, the person posing as the female, then contacts the male subject and demands monetary payment or the video images will be posted online. The investigation thus far has determined that the subject posing as a female is out of the county and most likely a male. In addition, the victims in these cases have had personal images shared with family and friends through social media.
Scam artists in the US and around the world defraud millions of people each year by using the internet to deceive victims into sending money or sharing personal information. The Iowa City Police Department reminds citizens to not share personal or confidential information with unverified contacts on social media, and not to rely on platform provided privacy. People are reminded that posting images on social media creates a record that can be referred to and shared beyond your scope of control.
If anyone has further information related to this online scam or may be a victim, contact Iowa City Police Investigator David Gonzalez at 319-356-5275.