A Michigan family is speaking out about the dangerous rise in sextortion scams on social media after a Nigerian man allegedly drove their 17-year-old son, a high school football player and homecoming king, to commit suicide.
Jordan DeMay, a popular student at Marquette Senior High School, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 25, 2022.
Speaking to Inside Edition, his parents revealed that their son struck up a flirtatious relationship with what he thought was a pretty young woman on social media.
But that 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 Fox News Digital.
The scammer allegedly convinced Jordan to send him an explicit photo before demanding a $1,000 ransom or he would send the photo to all of his friends and family.
“I can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes Until it goes viral,” Ogoshi allegedly messaged DeMay after he sent the 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 Jordan only 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.
Hours later, DeMay told the scammer 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 US.
All three men have been 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 currently awaiting extradition to the US.
Samuel Ogoshi has been charged with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death of DeMay.
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, said in an interview.
“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.”
Cybercrime experts say that sextortion crimes targeting the queer community have risen since the onset of the pandemic due to increased social media usage during lockdowns.
Petty criminals looking for a quick buck have thus benefitted from entrenched attitudes of homophobic intolerance.