Mother and deputies warn online dating site users of scheme - FOX Carolina 21

Mother and deputies warn online dating site users of scheme

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Nowadays, we never really know who's sitting behind these screens. 

"My over 18-year-old son got on a dating website. He met a girl on the website who was supposedly over 18. They started talking and then at some point it switched over to texting," explained one mother.

This mom wanted to remain anonymous, talking about her son's experience over one dating website.

"I could see through the text that she was taking it to a different level, starting to get a little bit more sexual," the mom explained.

She said the girl sent sexually-explicit pictures to her son, and in response her son sent pictures as well. 

This mother said that before her son knew it, he received a call from the girl's "father." 

"He said that she was only 16, that he took her phone and he knows that there's been photos sent back and forth. And that his wife was furious and she wanted to take this to the police," she said.

The"father" explained his "daughter" needed counseling as a result of the thread of sexual photos. The therapy he explained would cost $2300.

"Unless he paid for her counseling he would have the police officer file the charges," she explained.

The next phone call her son received was a message from "Greenville County officer."

"He was investigating, and that unless we work it out and informed him that it is worked out, if they chose to press charges they would file a warrant for his arrest and he could go to jail," said the mother.

Greenville County deputies said the people behind this trap will pinpoint and give specific names of investigators who work in the sex crimes or crimes against children unit.

"They've done their research," Sgt. Ryan Flood said. 

In this case, the mother we spoke with said she even got a picture of a counseling bill over text message. 

"You're afraid to believe this is it right because your kid's life is at stake here. If you're wrong, he can go to jail," the mother said. 

Deputies said the suspects play off this fear. Instead of communicating with the "investigator" who reached out to her son, this mother picked up the phone and called the sheriff's office directly.

"They said with 100% certainty it's a scam," she said. "Do not send that money." 

She said if her family can be fooled, and hundreds more across the nation, anyone is fair game.

"We encourage people to be very cautious. Do not exchange any sort of photographs, especially sexually oriented photographs," Sgt. Ryan Flood said.  

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