A teen’s death in a small Michigan town led the FBI and police to an online sexual extortion scheme

by Chloe Baker
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Online Sextortion Cases

The tragic demise of a teenager in a small Michigan town last year shed light on a disturbing online sexual extortion operation, ultimately leading to the involvement of the FBI and local law enforcement. The young victim, a 17-year-old named Jordan DeMay, took his own life following coercive demands during an online conversation to pay money in exchange for keeping explicit photos confidential. This incident was just one of many in a surge of “sextortion” cases targeting individuals across the United States.

FBI Director Christopher Wray disclosed that two individuals, extradited from Nigeria to face charges, were responsible for this heinous scheme that affected numerous people. The arrests occurred as a result of a joint effort between the FBI and Michigan police, triggered by the tragic outcome of Jordan DeMay.

Wray emphasized the gravity of the situation during a speech to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, underscoring the importance of cooperation in combating such threats. He highlighted that these crimes transcend geographical borders, and thus, their response should be borderless as well.

After the incident involving Jordan DeMay in Michigan, the FBI collaborated with the local sheriff’s department in Marquette County and state police to investigate the matter. DeMay had initially believed he was engaging in conversation with a girl of his own age on Instagram, but the dialogue quickly took a sinister turn when explicit pictures were requested.

Subsequently, when he was unable to comply with demands for money in exchange for not sharing the images with DeMay’s family and friends, the individual on the other end escalated matters, pressuring the teenager to take his own life.

The FBI revealed that DeMay had never been conversing with a girl; instead, two brothers from Nigeria were using a compromised Instagram account. These perpetrators conducted online research, gathering information about DeMay’s friends and family to intensify their threats. Moreover, they attempted to contact over a hundred other individuals using the same method.

The accused individuals, Samuel Ogoshi and Samson Ogoshi from Lagos, Nigeria, have pleaded not guilty. Samuel Ogoshi’s legal representation declined to comment, and at the time of reporting, there was no response from Samson Ogoshi’s lawyer.

The FBI has witnessed a disturbing tenfold increase in “sextortion” cases since 2021, affecting at least 3,000 children and teenagers, tragically leading to the deaths of more than a dozen victims. Many of these schemes are suspected to originate from scammers based in African countries like Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. The majority of victims fall between the ages of 14 and 17, although children as young as 10 have also been targeted.

Jordan DeMay’s mother, Jennifer Buta, described her son as a laid-back high school athlete with a girlfriend and a wide circle of friends. He was on the verge of embarking on a trip to Florida with his father the night before his untimely passing. In the wake of this tragedy, DeMay’s family has chosen to speak out, urging other parents to engage in open conversations with their children regarding the dangers of “sextortion” schemes.

“It’s crucial for parents to understand that this can happen to anyone. If their child is active on social media, the threat can manifest swiftly,” she emphasized. “Parents should let their children know that they can confide in them about anything, and they are there to provide support and guidance through such challenging situations.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Online Sextortion Cases

What is “sextortion,” as mentioned in the text?

“Sextortion” is a form of online extortion where individuals are coerced or threatened into providing money or other benefits in exchange for not disclosing explicit or personal content, such as intimate photos or messages, usually obtained through online communication.

How did the FBI become involved in the case mentioned in the text?

The FBI became involved in the case when a 17-year-old named Jordan DeMay from a small Michigan town tragically took his own life after being targeted in an online “sextortion” scheme. Local law enforcement, along with the FBI, launched an investigation into the matter following DeMay’s death.

Who were the individuals responsible for the “sextortion” scheme?

The “sextortion” scheme was orchestrated by two brothers from Nigeria named Samuel Ogoshi and Samson Ogoshi. They operated using a hacked Instagram account and targeted multiple victims, including Jordan DeMay.

How common are “sextortion” cases, and what age groups are typically affected?

“Sextortion” cases have seen a significant increase, with the FBI reporting a tenfold rise in such incidents since 2021. The majority of victims are between the ages of 14 and 17, but children as young as 10 have also been targeted.

What measures can parents take to protect their children from “sextortion” schemes?

Parents are advised to have open conversations with their children about the potential dangers of online communication, emphasizing that they can confide in their parents about any concerns. Monitoring online activities, setting privacy settings, and educating children about not sharing personal information or explicit content with strangers are important steps in protecting them from such schemes.

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