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Why the Nashua Police Department is alerting the public about an alleged increase in sextortion

A photo of an iPhone with someone holding the phone in their palm.
Gabriela Lozada

The Nashua Police Department says they’ve received increased reports about the blackmail of teenage boys after sending sexual content to people on the internet.

Lieutenant Brian Trefry from the special investigations division says the department has received six complaints this year, but four were last week. They are now concerned reports will further increase.

Usually, Trefry said, kids are approached by a stranger on social media and then exchange explicit photos with them. After that, the child is blackmailed.

“We received a case in which [the child in question] refused to pay and this person sent the picture to his classmates and mother,” Trefry says.

The transactions are made in cryptocurrency which can undermine prosecution avenues, but Trefy says, acting fast, especially if the kids are worried or overwhelmed is very important.

“Sometimes there is no way to recoup financial losses but you can help the kids with what they are feeling,” he said.

Possible resources

Sending explicit pictures and being extorted for it can make the kids feel alone and like they can't talk to anyone. The Crisis Text Line is oneresource to help process that moment.

Stop Sextortion is a dedicated site to educate kids and parents about this activity. It recommends saving texts, pictures, videos, or websites used in the case of extortion to help authorities with potential investigations.

And here’s where to find a removal guide, which can help with reporting these violations on social platforms.

Gabriela Lozada is a Report for America corps member. Her focus is on Latinx community with original reporting done in Spanish for ¿Qué hay de Nuevo NH?.

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