A 15-year-old New York boy reportedly died by suicide last week after an extortion attempt by someone the boy had met online.
Riley Basford reportedly took his own life on March 30. Basford’s family told the Watertown Daily News the investigators who examined his cellphone uncovered Facebook messages which suggested the teen had developed a relationship with someone who was not who they claimed to be.
At some point, Basford reportedly sent personal photos of himself to the individual, who subsequently threatened to share them with Basford’s family, friends, and on social media unless the teen paid $3,500.
Basford, who worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant and did not have the money, killed himself hours after receiving the online threat.
Basford’s mother told the Daily News that the day her son died, she took him to the dentist that morning to get his braces tightened and dropped him off at his father’s home in Potsdam. Though the threat was reportedly sent around noon, his stepmother said Basford appeared “normal and happy” while feeding their cows and talking to his uncle.
However, by 2:21 p.m., the teen was dead.
“They continued to bombard him and bombard him, and finally they broke him,” his father told the news outlet. “He thought this was the only way out because he didn’t want to be embarrassed.”
According to WWNY, Basford’s family believes the internet scammer or scammers targeted at least a dozen other teens.
New York State Police confirmed in a press release that they are investigating the apparent extortion plot that resulted in a teen’s death. Right now, it is unclear whether the culprit is located in the United States.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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[Featured image: Riley Basford/GoFundMe]