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LaGrange County Sherriff’s Department warning about social media blackmail scam

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Several complaints came into the LaGrange County Sherriff’s Department the past few months about a blackmail scam targeting intimate photos of social media users.

16 News Now reporter Jack Springgate tells us how you can stay safe scrolling through your newsfeed without falling victim to this scam.

It’s not always easy to know who you can trust on social media, so a good rule of thumb is to keep any personal information to yourself unless you truly know the person you’re interacting with.

These scammers will try and make you think you can trust them, right before they stab you in the back.

Here’s the post from the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department reminding people these scams start with accepting an unfamiliar friend request on Facebook.

From there the scammer tries to build a relationship and acquire nude photo’s from the victim.

If they’re successful, they’ll try and make you pay so they don’t leak the photos.

You can keep this from happening to you by picking up on early warning signs and by keeping your personal info to yourself.

“Any personal information--home addresses, personal phone numbers, dates of birth. Anything that they could track the individual down with to try and either receive money or make threats to,” said LaGrange County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Tracy Harker.

Reports to the LaGrange Sheriff’s Department say these encounters started on Facebook, but this type of scam can also target people using dating apps on other social networking platforms.

Deputy Harker says just because someone sends you a friend request, it doesn’t mean they really want to be your friend.

“If they’re not familiar with these people or they don’t know who it is, this is not the way to make friends. Just be aware. You have someone who’s trying to meet you or friend you on social media and if you’re not familiar with who they are don’t fall for it,” Harker said.

Being cautious with your info online and who you share it with goes a long way in keeping you safe.

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