2 inmates charged in sextortion scheme that led to veteran’s suicide, Greenville PD says
According to an incident report, a man reported Saturday that he began talking to a 22-year-old woman on a dating app called Skout.
After texting and exchanging sexually explicit photos, the man stated the woman claimed she was underage, and shortly after, he got a phone call from a man posing as her father.
The father impersonator, according to the report, demanded $2,400 for therapy, claiming his daughter was regretful and suicidal.
“Dating app scams are nothing new and they happen across various dating apps, so it’s very important people protect themselves in these cases,” said Brandon LaVorgna of the Greenville Police Department.
According to the incident report, the man called Police and did not pay the requested money because he was skeptical of the situation.
In recent months, 7-News has reported about a very similar scam that had deadly consequences.
In May, two inmates at the Lee Correctional Institution were charged for posing as the parents of an under age girl, who tricked and demanded money from a veteran who had spoken to her, but according to Greenville Police, did nothing wrong.
The veteran, 24-year-old Jared Johns, took his own life after being blackmailed.
According to his parents, the fear of jail time and potential PTSD may have contributed to his suicide.
Greenville Police warned Tuesday that if anyone finds themselves being blackmailed from a dating app, they should contact investigators. Do not send them money if they request it,” said LaVorgna, who also warned that often times victims feel embarrassed and cornered, so they don’t report it.
“They probably happen more than they’re reported due to the embarrassment factor with some of these cases that we’ve seen.”