HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — State police in Westmoreland County are looking into an apparent extortion attempt by a man using Skype.
It was an online interaction that went terribly wrong for a local high school student.
Police say cases like this one are very hard to investigate, but they are actively working to track down the man on the other end of the conversation.
The incident all started when a young woman from the Hempfield Township area and an unknown young man began talking on Skype.
“A female and male met over Skype, and during the course of their interaction several months ago, they exposed themselves to each other,” said Trooper Steve Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.
The woman is an 18-year-old student at Hempfield High School.
Police say she hadn’t Skyped with the man in months when she received a message on her iPad during the school day.
According to police, the message said the man would post photos and videos he had taken of her on the Internet if she didn’t send him $100.
Police say that while the young woman didn’t do anything wrong, her actions should be a lesson to others who think about starting an online relationship with a stranger.
“However unwise, it may be a bad decision, which unfortunately a lot of youngsters do,” said Trooper Limani. “They don’t realize these things that you’re doing on the Internet, and taking photographs of yourself whether it be your phone, they are permanent.”
Police say because the young woman is 18-years-old no child pornography charges apply. Still, they are working to identify and locate the man and will likely charge him with theft by extortion.