Sheriff Warns of Extortion

Says minors exploited through social media

The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday (Jan. 31) reported an investigation into “multiple cases of local youths being extorted” over social media during the previous week.

“The extortion begins when the perpetrator befriends the child posing as someone their age on social media, then at some point asks the child to share explicit photos of themselves,” the agency said in a release. “Once the photos are shared they then blackmail the child by telling them that the photos will be posted/shared with others unless money is paid.

In some cases, the perpetrator asks for the money in the form of gift cards, because they know that many kids still have unspent cards from Christmas and using them is less likely to alert parents and other authority figures,” the sheriff said. “So far the Sheriff’s Office has one case in which the perpetrator did, in fact, post the explicit photos of the child after not receiving the money that they demanded.”

Anyone with concerns should contact the Sheriff’s Department at by phone at 845-486-3820 or [email protected].

Leave a Reply

The Current welcomes comments on its coverage and local issues. All online comments are moderated, must include your full name and may appear in print. See our guidelines here.