Shelby County deputies trace social media blackmail scheme to Amsterdam

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 3:58 AM

Social media issue in Shelby County

UPDATE @ 1:04 p.m. (Feb. 15):

Shelby County deputies said a social media blackmail scheme that targeted nearly a dozen victims in the county was traced back to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

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During their investigation, deputies were able to pinpoint the IP address the suspect was using to access the student’s phones.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police looking to charge girl, 16, in sexting case

The sheriff’s office urges people to check their Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat accounts for any contacts with the following users: Christian P (christianpp55), Page Harer (pageypoo172) and Haley Ng or Susu (mariana_justen), according to a release from the sheriff’s office

“We also recommend that anyone who has been involved in receiving any communication from these people to do a factory reset on their phones or any device they use to access Shapchat, Twitter or Facebook and to create a new Snapchat, Twitter or Facebook account,” the sheriff’s office said.

UPDATE @ 11:32 a.m. (Feb. 12):

Sheriff’s deputies in Shelby County said nearly a dozen victims in the county have been targeted by hacks and an apparent social media blackmail scheme.

Deputies said the scheme involves a suspect reaching out to teenage victims on social media asking for ransom money and if the victim doesn’t pay up, the suspect threatens to share nude photos of the victim.

Deputies are looking at a potential teenage suspect in Alabama, but said they have a long way to go in the investigation, according investigators.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police looking to charge girl, 16, in sexting case

Over the last week, the sheriff’s office said the hacker or hackers have been getting into the social media accounts of local teens and accessing nude photographs, whether they be from the cloud, or Snapchat or these students’ phones.

The suspect is reaching out over Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, demanding either $500 or $750 as ransom money.

Deputies said they are especially concerned, because the suspect is not only hacking these accounts, but also following through with threats to send out the naked photos.

INITIAL REPORT:

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are working to find out who is trying to blackmail area children by threatening to disseminate cell photo-shot nude photos of them. 

The person is using the threat of the photos in an attempt to blackmail children into sending him or her money, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff's office published Friday night. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police looking to charge girl, 16, in sexting case

Sheriff's Detective Chris Brown, in the post, said, "We have had several kids who the person has taken over their Snapchat [account] and is posting as that person. We believe they are accessing the photos on the target's phone and are obtaining the list of contacts or user names in their friends list of the children and then contacting those people or sending photos." 

Brown, in the post, said," this type of behavior is wide spread and is affecting kids from Houston, Russia, Fairlawn, Lehman, Anna, Holy Angels and Sidney." 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Gangs are continuing problem, sheriff says

The unknown person is using several personas in Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, the detective said, and a couple of the names are Susu and Page Herer. 

If you have been contacted by someone similar to the description offered by the detective, or you have received any threatening messages from an unknown source, do not respond and call Detective Brown at the sheriff's office, (937) 494-2105.

We’re working to learn more about this report from the sheriff’s office.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com