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Nigerian sextortion scammers target 17-year-old

Sextortion is the fastest-growing scam affecting teenagers globally and has been linked to more than 27 suicides in the US alone. Many of the scammers appear to be from Nigeria – where authorities are defending their actions and are under pressure to do more.

It has been two years since Jenn Buta’s son Jordan killed himself after being targeted by scammers who lured him into sending them explicit images of himself, and then tried to blackmail him.

She still can’t bring herself to change anything about his bedroom.

The 17-year-old’s basketball jerseys, clothes, posters and bedsheets are just how he left them.

The curtains are closed, and the door is shut to keep memories of him that only a parent would understand.

“It still smells like him. That’s one of the reasons I still have the door closed. I can still smell that sweat, dirt, cologne mix in this room. I’m just not ready to part with his stuff,” she said.

Jordan was contacted by sextortion scammers on Instagram.

They pretended to be a pretty girl his age and flirted with him, sending sexual pictures to coax him into sharing explicit photos of himself.

They then blackmailed him for hundreds of pounds to stop them sharing the pictures online to his friends.

Jordan sent as much money as he could and warned the sextortionists he would kill himself if they spread the images. The criminals replied: “Good… Do that fast – or I’ll make you do it.”

It was less than six hours from the time Jordan started communicating until the time he ultimately took his life.

“There’s actually a script online,” Jenn told BBC News, from her home in Michigan, in the north of the US. “And these people are just going through the script and putting that pressure on.

“And they’re doing it quick, because then they can move on to the next person, because it’s about volume.”

The criminals were tracked to Nigeria, arrested, and then extradited to the US.

Two brothers from Lagos – Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20 – are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to child sexploitation charges. Another Nigerian man linked to Jordan’s death and other cases is fighting extradition.

Jordan’s tragic story has become a touch point in the fight against the growing problem of sextortion.

Source: BBC



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