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South Carolina Man Posing as Teen Girl in Alleged Sextortion Scheme Results in Michigan Victim's Suicide: FBI

SC Resident Indicted in Sextortion Scheme Leading to Suicide of Victim
Source: Unsplash

Sextortion scheme lead to the suicide death of a Michigan victim, officials said.

Apr. 22 2024, Published 10:03 a.m. ET

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A South Carolina man was charged in Michigan recently in connection with a sextortion scheme that resulted in the victim dying by suicide, authorities said.

Daeward Boyd, 35, was indicted on charges of attempted extortion, stalking and five counts of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan.

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"Nationally and here in Michigan we have seen a startling increase in the number of sextortion crimes — like we have alleged here — that result in the victim’s death,” U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said in a statement. “We are fully committed to holding perpetrators of these crimes accountable. At the same time, I strongly urge everyone who carries a device or is active online to remain aware that criminals constantly troll the internet and social media, to not assume people are who they say they are, and to know that if you make a mistake, law enforcement is eager and ready to help.”

According to the indictment, from Aug. 2–4, 2023, Boyd allegedly posed as an 18-year-old woman on a dating website, and sent a nude image to the victim. Boyd then told the victim he was actually a 15-year-old girl.

Boyd then allegedly posed as the fictional girl's grandparents, and told the victim he needed to pay money or he would be exposed as a pedophile to his family, friends and police.

Allegedly as a result of the attempted extortion, the victim killed himself.

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The FBI says such sextortion schemes are widespread, and can often target minors, who may be especially fearful of being exposed by the extortionists.

The FBI says people can protect themselves from extortionists by being wary of those they talk to online, and being aware that videos and photos can be altered, and are not proof of who you're really communicating with.

Above all, the FBI wants victims to be willing to ask for help from authorities.

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“Our deepest sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the victim at the center of this case," said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Sextortionists use any means necessary to exploit and deceive their targets, counting on the victim's feelings of shame and fear to achieve their goals. The FBI has several resources available to anyone who believes they may be a victim of a sextortion scheme. If you are uncomfortable reporting this crime to the FBI directly, you can rely on a trusted individual to do so on your behalf by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting a tip online at”

TMX contributed to this report.


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