Male students victims of 'sextortion', forced to pay money in scam

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Jessica Willey shares how online dates lead to a disaster for two students. (KTRK)

Two Houston college students say they've been victims of "sextortion" -- extorted by women they met online threatening to make private videos public.

Both men, ages 31 and 24, asked to remain anonymous. What happened to them is embarrassing, but, at the same time, bad enough that they want to warn others.

It started out innocently on legitimate dating sites. They engaged with a girl. The communication shifted to a web cam and became sexual. The two men's incidents happened weeks apart and are not connected but the scam is the same.

"All of a sudden it cuts off and she says I will ruin you if you do not pay me this money," the younger man told Eyewitness News.

"Soon after, pictures from Facebook profiles of my mother, brother, sister, cousins started popping up and she said if you don't donate money I will send this to everybody," explained the other.

They had been recorded doing compromising things.

"Video of me in all my glory," described the 31-year-old.

Both feared they'd be exposed. One man paid a few hundred dollars. The other didn't and nothing happened. Both contacted attorney Joe Mathew, best known for his successful "revenge porn" case.

"To them you're a faceless victim and you're there to be exploited for the money," Mathew said. "This is 'sextortion'. They're using coercion to get these young men to comply with demands."

The FBI has warned about "sextortion" and now these men are, too.

"Just don't trust people over the internet," said the 24-year-old.

What they did, they say, was stupid but it will be the only time.

"I can tell you right now, it's not going to happen again."

"Be careful what you do, what you send. Once it's out there, it's out there and you have no control over it," added Mathew.

Law enforcement officers encourage anyone who think they've been a victim of "sextortion" to report it to police.
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