Orange County

UCF police report increase in extortion cases targeting college-aged men

ORLANDO, Fla. — UCF police officers are seeing an increase in extortion cases targeting college-aged men.

Officers said the people initiating the schemes pose online as young women and use a game, app or social media account to meet and communicate with their victims.


The police said the goal is to get the men to send sexual videos or photos of themselves to the scammers, who will then threaten to send these materials to the men’s family and friends unless the men send money or gift cards.

Police said that in most cases, even if the men pay up, the perpetrator will demand more money or release the photos and videos anyway.

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UCF offers the following tips to protect yourself from these crimes:

  • Be selective about what you share online and who you share it with.
  • Be wary of messages from strangers. If you don’t know them, it’s best to ignore or block them.
  • Know that people can pretend to be anyone online, and be conscious of catfishing.
  • Do not share explicit photos of yourself, especially with someone you don’t know. Just because you believe it’s private doesn’t mean it always will be.
  • Be suspicious of individuals who ask you to switch to a different platform to chat.
  • Report suspicious accounts or behavior to the platform you are using.
  • Trust your instincts. If something sounds too good or too sketchy to be true, it probably is.

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UCF has confidential victim specialists available for support and advocacy, free of charge. They will explain your options, assist you in whatever choices you make, and connect you to appropriate campus and community resources. Reach a victim specialist 24/7 by calling 407-823-1200.

To file a report with the police, call the UCF Police Department’s non-emergency number at 407-823-5555.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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