Online scam targeting children

Published: 06/17/2022, 9:23 PM

(TULSA, Okla.) The Tulsa Police SPDR Unit has become aware of a new scam targeting children who use social media.

This scam is perpetrated by criminals who use fake profiles to pretend to be teenagers interested in an online relationship.  The goal is to entice the victim to send nude or other compromising photos of themselves to the fake persona. The scammer will then threaten to send the photos to the victim’s friends, family, and school unless they are paid money.  In some cases, an adult male has made voice calls to the victim using their social media account and made additional threats and demands of payment. 

The goal of the scam appears to be financial gain. The scam is widespread and appears to be primarily perpetrated by persons who are not in the United States.

The SPDR Unit is asking parents and guardians to educate juveniles about the existence of this treat and the dangers involved with taking nude photos of themselves for any reason.  Once a photo is sent via the internet or an app, it can never be recovered and could be seen by persons the sender does not intend.  Parents and guardians are encouraged to be aware of what apps and services are being used, what the capabilities of the apps are, and who children and teens are communicating with.  Parents and guardians may wish to consider minimizing or eliminating the threat that the use of social media poses to the safety and mental health of the children they care for. 

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has resources for talking to teens about internet safety (NetSmartz) available at
The SPDR Unit can be reached at

The Sexual Predator / Digital Evidence Recovery Unit (SPDR Unit) was formally known as the Cyber Crimes Unit.  The SPDR Unit is the result of the Tulsa Police Department’s commitment to protecting Tulsa’s youth from sexual exploitation.  SPDR Detectives are highly trained to detect, locate, and apprehend predators who operate online and recover the digital evidence needed to bring them to justice.  The SPDR Unit partners closely with the OSBI Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, the FBI, HSI, and US Secret Service to accomplish this mission. 


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