Area residents are being advised to be careful who they communicate with online after multiple Gage County residents reported an attempted extortion.
Gage County residents have reported to the sheriff’s office that while on Facebook, they interacted with an adult female, who claimed to live and work in Omaha.
The victims had private video messages with the woman. During these consensual conversations, the suspect obtained compromising video clips of the victims and the suspect threatened to release the video to their families, friends and employers, a press release stated.
The victims were contacted by text messages and told to send money via Wal-Mart Moneygram to a “Daniella Coopers” in Mali, a country in Africa. The victims report being told to send thousands of dollars and were even instructed to sell their vehicles, or the suspect would send the video to their family and put it on YouTube.
One victim sent the suspect a small amount of money, but the suspects continued to threaten the person, eventually attempting to set up a payment plan, where the victim would send several hundred dollars each week.
Victims have contacted the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and informed investigators of the incident.
A press release from the department stated the victims were advised to not make payments to the suspects and that the suspects would not release the video, because they would then lose any power of coercion over the victims.
There have been reports of this type of activity throughout Nebraska, the press release stated, and when Facebook shuts down one profile, the suspect then opens a new profile. Two consistent features of these extortion attempts include the name of Daniella Coopers and that the victims are told to send money to a location in the Republic of Mali.