FAIRFAX, Va. - A new video by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children are warning parents and teenagers about the dangers of a growing online trend It's called "sextortion."
Police at George Mason University are also warning students to be on alert after two students were recently victimized by this crime. Police say the students were enticed to undress and perform sex acts in front of their webcams while the suspects recorded the victims. Then, the suspect told the victims they would release the video if the students didn't pay them $5,000.
These crimes are not uncommon and have been directly linked to organized crime. Police are not saying if the victim and suspects connected through any particular website or app.
Authorities say this is an international problem and it is all about making money.
We spoke to several students on campus who were alerted about the sextortion by university officials.
“It's kind of a scary thing,” said Schyler Cordova. “We had the issues a couple months ago with the Tinder sexual assaults and personal apps, tried to be very careful online and everything like that.”
“My thoughts were, ‘How do you get yourself in that situation?’” said Destine Padi. “Because I don't really think it's a situation you should get yourself into in the first place. The fact that someone did that to you is a bad thing, but for you to get yourself there in the first place is a problem.”
Authorities say the best way to prevent this is to avoid undressing in front of the camera. But if you do, do not pay the money and contact police right away.