FBI Responds After Tragic Suicide Reported
(FeaturedNews.com) – Ryan Last, a 17-year-old high school student, had just visited college campuses with his mother when a scammer ruined his life. Last died by suicide after a sextortion scandal in February – part of a growing trend amongst cybercriminals. Unfortunately, it only took a few hours for a scammer to take everything away from this boy scout and straight-A student.
A 17-year-old San Jose boy died by suicide hours after being scammed. The FBI says it’s part of a troubling increase in ‘sextortion’ cases. https://t.co/Q0CzWJLvAQ
— Mercury News (@mercnews) May 23, 2022
Pauline Stuart, the young man’s mother, spoke with reporters, saying her son thought he was messaging a girl who had contacted him that February evening. The girl sent him a nude photo, and he shared one back.
The scammer then began demanding $5,000 not to publish the photo for all of Last’s friends and family to see. Last could not afford that dollar amount, and after a bit of discussion, the scammer lowered the price down to $150. The young teen paid that figure using his college savings, but the scammer only continued to press for more money as the threat of the nude photo loomed over Last’s head. Distraught and unsure of what to do, Ryan Last ended up taking his own life.
Stuart said she had no idea what was happening. She only learned about the extortion effort after his death. The grieving mother said they parted for the evening around 10 p.m., and by 2 a.m., the scammer came into the picture, prompting the teen to kill himself. Last did leave behind a note explaining his embarrassment.
The FBI says there has been an increase in sextortion, which the agency defines as an adult coercing a minor to share sexual photos online; very similar to blackmail. The FBI runs a nationwide campaign to help make parents aware of these scams. Authorities continue to investigate Last’s case.
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