Police and the US Charity National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have warned of a nude photo Snapchat scam targeting teen boys that could cause emotional trauma.
The Snapchat ‘online sextortion’ scam involves scammers befriending teenage boys online by posing as teenage girls, sharing nude photos of a girl with them, and asking for nude photos in return. Those teen boys who reciprocate are then sent a demand for money with the threat of sharing the boy’s photos with his social media followers if he doesn’t pay (via a peer-to-peer payment app). However, even if the scammers are paid, they don’t go away.
The advice to young victims of a sextortion scheme is first tell their parents, to block bad actors, and to report any instances of this crime to police and Action Fraud.
In September, Snapchat announced new safety features in its app to enhance protections and safeguards for teenage users, which include educational resources highlighting risks, and in-app warnings when a teenager receives a friend request from someone with whom they have no mutual contacts.