COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – This week, Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is warning residents about a string of extortions involving dating and social media apps happening in the region.

According to Crime Stoppers, robbery detectives report a significant increase in the reports, typically involving a man meeting an unknown suspect on social media or a dating app. In the scam, the suspect is either a woman or pretends to be a woman and may send the victim explicit photos. In response, the victim sends explicit photos of themselves to the suspect.

Those pictures are then used to demand money from the victim under the threat that the photos will be sent to friends and family. The suspect usually demands payment in the form of untraceable gift cards.

Crime Stoppers said some of the victims had already paid the extortion before getting in touch with the police.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of such a scam, Crime Stoppers encourages you to contact your local police department.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477 (TIPS) or go to their website at All tips are anonymous.