Increase in "Sextortion," Bail Scams

Sheriff's Office Warns of Increase in "Sextortion," Bail Scams
Posted on 06/21/2023
Sheriff's Office Warns of Increase in "Sextortion," Bail Scams

Douglas County, NV – Recently, there has been an increase in new online scams, and although Douglas County has had only a few of these cases, in the Northern Nevada region the frequency of these scams is increasing. There are two types of scams that we have seen an increase of:

  1. SEXTORTION: A victim starts an online relationship with a subject they don’t know. The subject may only send chats with fake images or the subject may be sophisticated enough to send videos or conduct live video calls. The subject may use an artificial intelligence “chatbot” or have a co-conspirator, such as an attractive female or male, who serves as “bait.” The subject or subject(s) then lure the victim into sending a compromising video or image of themselves. The subjects then extort the victim either demanding money or more images or videos (for their own sexual gratification). In several recent incidents, the teenage victims felt they could not meet the demands of the subjects and ended up committing suicide due to their fear that embarrassing images or videos of themselves would be released to their families or public.
    1. Should someone become a victim of this scheme, they should notify their local law enforcement and the FBI.
    2. It should also be noted that sending or receiving sexual images of minors is a federal and state crime.   
    3. Here is a link about Sextortion on the FBI’s Website: Sextortion: What Kids and Caregivers Need to Know — FBI
    4. Recent Open Source News Article: Michigan family sounds alarm on son's 'sextortion' suicide after arrests of 3 Nigerian men (
  1. USE OF AI TO CONVINCE VICTIMS TO PAY “BAIL” WITH CRYPTO CURRENCY OR FRAUDULENT WIRE TRANSFER: In this scam, the victim receives a call from someone who sounds exactly like a distraught family member or close friend who has been arrested. The subject claims to have been arrested and in jail. The subject then directs the victim to call their “defense attorney” and provides contact information. The “defense attorney” confirms that they have been assigned to represent the “family member in jail” and then directs the victim to call “the jail” or “the court house” and provides a telephone number. A different subject at “the jail” or “the courthouse” confirms that their loved one is in jail and tells the victim that their loved one is about to transferred to a different jail due to overcrowding. The “clerk” then directs the victim to call the “defense attorney” back to figure out how to pay the bail rapidly. The “defense attorney” directs the victim to send them money with a wire transfer or crypto currency. Once the victim pays the “defense attorney,” they soon figure out that their loved one has not in fact been arrested. For this scheme to work, the subjects have to convince the victim that they must transfer money quickly to prevent the transfer of their loved one to a different jail or prison.  


    1. If someone calls you and claims to have been arrested and in need of bail, an individual can call the appropriate jail and or local law enforcement entity to confirm that their loved one has been arrested.
    2. Individuals should not rely on contact information for jails, court houses, defense attorneys, or law enforcement entities unless that contact information has been confirmed by alternate publicly available sources.
    3. The US Government and law enforcement entities will not demand payment for warrants, bail, or fines and such payments cannot generally be paid for by crypto currency or wire transfer.