NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is warning people of online extortion tactics stemming from online relationships. It's called "sextortion" and deputies say they have seen an increase in these types of cases.
It can start when two people meet online and develop a relationship.
As the relationship progresses, deputies say the suspect gains trust from the victim and gets them to send them nude photos.
Once the suspect has the nude photos or videos, the suspect threatens to release the video or images to all their family and friends on Facebook unless the victim sends money.
“One of our bigger concerns recently a lot of these activities the bad guys are operating outside of our country and for local law enforcement that’s hard for us to deal with,” explained Pasco County detective Aaron Smith.
Smith points out, once a photo is out there, even if an arrest is made, scrubbing the internet is next to impossible. He says the best way to avoid this scam is to never send nude or explicit photos to anyone.
"There's no good reasons to send nude pictures of yourself to anybody," Detective Smith said.
Deputies say anyone who has experienced this should call their TIPS line to report it at 1-800-706-2488.