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Tulsa police warn of scammers targeting children on social media

A user of social media application software on a smartphone.
Towfiqu Photography/Getty Images

The Tulsa Police Department is alerting parents of a new scam targeting children who use social media.

The department's Sexual Predator/Digital Evidence Recovery Unit said the scam is being carried out by criminals using fake profiles to pretend to be teenagers looking for an online relationship.

According to police, the goal is to entice the victim to send nude or compromising photos of themselves to the fake persona.

Investigators said the scammer will then threaten to send the photos to the victim's family, friends, and school unless they are given money.

Detectives said they've seen some cases where an adult man has made voice calls to a victim using their social media account to make additional threats and demands of payment.

The scam is widespread and according to officials, is perpetrated by people not living in the United States.

Members of the SPDR Unit are asking parents and guardians to educate kids about the dangers involved with taking nude photos for any reason.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.