Wednesday, June 14, 2023

NYP: High school football player Jordan DeMay driven to suicide after Nigerian sextortion scam, anguished family reveals

The New York Post reports that a Michigan family is sounding the alarm about sextortion scams on social media after a Nigerian man allegedly drove their 17-year-old son, a high school football player, to commit suicide.
Jordan DeMay, a student at Marquette Senior High School, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 25, 2022, after he was contacted by an Instagram account that appeared to be from a woman with the username “dani.robertts,” Fox News Digital reported.
But the account had been hacked and sold to Samuel Ogoshi, a 22-year-old Nigerian who allegedly used the profile to force young men into sending him explicit images of themselves, according to the news outlet.
“I can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes Until it goes viral,” Ogoshi allegedly messaged DeMay after the teen sent an explicit photo of himself.
“Just pay me rn [right now]. And I won’t expose you,” the suspect reportedly responded.
“How much?” DeMay asked.
Ogoshi demanded $1,000, but the boy sent $300, leading the Nigerian man to allegedly threaten to send the explicit image to his family and friends if he did not send additional money, according to Fox News.
Hours later, DeMay told him he was going to commit suicide.
“Good. Do that fast. Or I’ll make you do it. I swear to God,” Ogoshi reportedly answered.
Ogoshi was one of three Nigerian men — including Samson Ogoshi, 20, and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, all of Lagos — who were arrested in Nigeria and accused of sexually extorting more than 100 young men and teenage boys in the United States.
All three men are charged with conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and conspiracy to commit stalking through the internet, WLUC-TV reported.
They are awaiting extradition to the U.S.
For the death of DeMay, Samuel Ogoshi is charged with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars and a minimum of 30 years.
“My son was smart. He was a good student. He was a great athlete,” DeMay’s dad, John DeMay, told Fox News Digital in an interview Tuesday.
“Someone came to his bedroom at 3 in the morning and murdered him through Instagram when we were all sleeping at night, and we had zero chance to stop it,” he said.
The FBI said it “has seen a huge increase in the number of cases involving children and teens being threatened and coerced into sending explicit images online — a crime called sextortion.”
The agency said it has recently seen a spike in financial extortion cases targeting minors.
“In these cases, the offender receives sexually explicit material from the child and then threatens to release the compromising material unless the victim sends money and/or gift cards,” the FBI said, adding that victims should call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Last year, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline received about 32 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation.
The “online enticement” cases jumped by 82% between 2021 and 2022, according to the report.
As his son got older, John DeMay said, he stopped monitoring the boy’s phone use as much as he used to.
He encouraged parents and teens to learn about the risks of sextortion and have a plan in place in case it happens to them or someone they know.
DeMay urged victims to turn off their phones and contact law enforcement immediately if they suspect they are being targeted.
He also said he would tell his son that threats from the sextortionist were no reason to end his life.
“[Kids] have to just understand that this isn’t the end of whatever they think is their life, because it’s not,” DeMay told the outlet.