Teen Nude Photos Blackmail Scandal: High School Girls Hit With Instagram Extortion Plot, Report Says

As many as 15 teen girls, who took nude photos of themselves, became the targets of a blackmail plot by a still unknown Instagram user who somehow obtained those photos. The images — which the high school girls believed would be kept private — were used to attempt to extort the teens into taking and sending further nude photos, according to court documents in North Carolina first revealed in a report by WSOC-TV.

The blackmail scheme was exposed when a former student at William Amos Hough High School in Cornelius, North Carolina, came forward to discuss how she was victimized by the blackmailer.

The victim, who came forward on the condition that her identity remain confidential, told WSOC that while in high school, she had taken nude photos of herself that were intended only for the eyes of her then-boyfriend. But somehow, the photos fell into the wrong hands. Police have yet to determine exactly how that happened.

But soon, the young woman began receiving messages that included the intimate, private images — and demanding more of the same.

“It was awful,” the victim, now a student at the University of Pittsburgh, told WSOC. “I’m not the type of person to get really scared about what people say to me. I was really careful about my social media. I had all my sites blocked from other people. Reality really hit me and I was like, ‘This could actually ruin my entire life.'”

The former student’s revelations led to a police investigation that found more than a dozen more victims, all teen girls between the ages of 14 and 18 at Hough High School.

Teen blackmail nude photos
[Image via WSOC Screen Capture]
The blackmailer used two different account names on Instagram, “the_lift_guy_” and “a_dannyboy.” Police have reportedly served a search warrant on the San Francisco, California-based social media company Instagram, in an attempt to find the actual person behind those two user names.

The blackmailer victimized the girls by somehow obtaining “pictures they took of themselves naked and threatening to expose them if they did not send more,” according to court documents.

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The person demanded that the girls use the Kik Messenger program to contact him, or else he would post their nude photos online for the world to see.

How many of the victims actually gave in to the blackmail threats and produced new nude photos for the extortionist is not entirely clear, but the police warrants appear to indicate that at least more than one did so, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer newspaper.

A friend of one of the victims, also speaking anonymously, told WCNC-TV News that the blackmailer actually went ahead and posted the nude photos of the victim online after she failed to give in to his threats.

“It’s not a joke and it gets her even more upset about it because people laugh and are calling her names,” the friend told the TV station said. “Me and a couple of friends are giving her support on it and when people come up, we just tell them to mind their own business.”

But until the former student now at University of Pittsburgh came forward, none of the victims reported the blackmail attempts, fearing discipline from their own parents.

“Hopefully they’ll learn you need to keep your clothes on when you’re taking pictures,” said one Hough High School parent, Mary Shea.

Amazingly, the blackmail scandal comes to light just nine months after a similar incident at the same high school earlier this year when about 75 nude photos taken by teen girls at Hough High School were posted in a file on the online storage site Dropbox by a student, who then distributed the link and password to the file publicly.

[Featured Photo via WRAL Screen Capture]

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