15-year-old teen commits suicide after being blackmailed for $ 3,500 over ‘personal’ social media images

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A 15-year-old teenager committed suicide in what his family described as ‘split-second insanity’ after being blackmailed for $ 3,500 for ‘personal’ images on social media.

Riley Basford died on March 30 at his father’s home in Potsdam, New York, just hours after being bombarded with online threats as part of a catfishing scam.

The teenager, who dreamed of becoming an environmental policeman, was the target of someone posing as a girl and befriending him, his family said. WWNY

New York State Police warned parents and teens about the scam after they learned of more than a dozen similar incidents involving young people being victims of scams online.

A 15-year-old teenager committed suicide in what his family described as 'split-second insanity' after being blackmailed for $ 3,500 for 'personal' images on social media.  In the photo Riley Basford

A 15-year-old teenager committed suicide in what his family described as ‘split-second insanity’ after being blackmailed for $ 3,500 for ‘personal’ images on social media. In the photo Riley Basford

Riley’s grieving family said the sophomore in high school was his usual me on the morning of the day he died.

His mother Mary Rodee told me Watertown Daily Times she had taken him for the first time to get braces before going to his father’s house in Potsdam where he fed their cows and talked to his uncle and stepmother

His family later discovered that Riley was threatened with blackmail around noon.

The 15-year-old, known to his loved ones as ‘Riser’, had spoken to a person he believed was a girl on Facebook and sent them ‘personal’ photos.

After asking Riley to send the embarrassing photos, the blackmailer demanded that he send $ 3,500 or they would leak the images to his family, friends, and on social media.

His father Darren Basford said the blackmailer continued to ‘bomb’ his son that day, leaving him feeling that there was no way out.

“They kept bombing and bombing him, and eventually they broke him,” he said.

Riley Basford died on March 30 at his father's home in Potsdam, New York, just hours after being bombarded with online threats as part of a catfishing scam

Riley Basford died on March 30 at his father's home in Potsdam, New York, just hours after being bombarded with online threats as part of a catfishing scam

Riley Basford died on March 30 at his father’s home in Potsdam, New York, just hours after being bombarded with online threats as part of a catfishing scam

The 15-year-old was known to his loved ones as 'Riser'

The 15-year-old was known to his loved ones as 'Riser'

The 15-year-old, known to his loved ones as ‘Riser’, had spoken on Facebook to a person he believed was a girl and sent them ‘personal’ photos

“He thought this was the only way out, because he didn’t want to be embarrassed.”

Within hours of receiving the threats, Riley had committed suicide.

Riley’s mother said she believes her son’s death came in a “split second of madness” because his young mind was unable to cope with the manipulative situation.

“This amounted to a split second of madness in a young brain unable to process the final decision he made,” she told WWNY.

Riley’s grieving parents said they only found out their son was the victim of a plot when New York State Police investigated his cell phone and found the Facebook posts.

Basford said he was ‘dead drunk’ when they learned about the scam, while Rodee accused the culprit of being a ‘devil’.

‘I had come out of that meeting crazy. I came out of there steaming crazy. I didn’t want this to happen to another family. I want to bring it out, ”said Basford.

Rodee added, “I want to find out how this devil managed to hunt my child in such a short time.”

After letting Riley send the embarrassing photos, the blackmailer demanded that he send $ 3,500 or they'd leak the images to his family, friends, and on social media

After letting Riley send the embarrassing photos, the blackmailer demanded that he send $ 3,500 or they'd leak the images to his family, friends, and on social media

After letting Riley send the embarrassing photos, the blackmailer demanded that he send $ 3,500 or they’d leak the images to his family, friends, and on social media

DailyMail.com has contacted New York State Police for information on the investigation.

The force gave one warning for New Yorkers, especially parents, last week in the wake of Riley’s death, as there have been multiple other cases of teens targeted by online criminals.

“New York State Police wants to warn New Yorkers, and especially parents, of instances where teenagers are targeted by criminals while online,” Major Reuben A. Oliver said in a statement.

Researchers say the suspected (s) locate teenage victims on social media, make friends or follow the teens, and then gain their trust.

Once trust is established, investigators say the suspects ask for photos and / or videos of the teen, usually provocative in nature. Once the videos are secured by these predators, they demand payment, sometimes thousands of dollars, or threaten to release the images on social media.

“At least one case has resulted in a teenage victim committing suicide.”

It is not clear if any suspects have been identified in connection with the scam against Riley or if any of the other scams identified are related to his death.

New York State Trooper Jennifer V. Fleishman told Oxygen.com: “At this point, we cannot confirm that they are linked.

On Monday evening, a memorial service for Riley was held in Potsdam, with hundreds of locals gathering around the family as they released balloons into the air

On Monday evening, a memorial service for Riley was held in Potsdam, with hundreds of locals gathering around the family as they released balloons into the air

On Monday evening, a memorial service for Riley was held in Potsdam, with hundreds of locals gathering around the family as they released balloons into the air

Riley's mom said she wouldn't stop protecting other kids from the same fate as she paid tribute to her 'cool' son who 'made friends everywhere he went'.  A commemorative brochure

Riley's mom said she wouldn't stop protecting other kids from the same fate as she paid tribute to her 'cool' son who 'made friends everywhere he went'.  A commemorative brochure

Riley’s mom said she wouldn’t stop protecting other kids from the same fate as she paid tribute to her ‘cool’ son who ‘made friends everywhere he went’. A commemorative brochure

‘It is very early in the investigation. These kinds of studies take time. This kind of cyber deception has been going on for years.

‘They come to the fore when someone dies. One suicide is too many. ‘

Basford told Watertown Daily News that police were investigating whether the threats came from an individual or individuals at home or abroad.

He said the family wanted to speak out on Riley’s death to warn other parents of the dangers of social media as they fear other young people could also be forced to commit suicide.

“I want to get the message across to parents that there is no secure social media,” he said.

“You need to talk to your kids on all social media, know who they’re talking to, and let the kids know who they’re talking to.”

Rodee said she wouldn’t stop trying to protect other kids from the same fate as a tribute to her “cool” son who “made friends everywhere he went.”

“The governor will hear my son’s name out of my mouth,” she said.

The president will hear my son’s name coming from my mouth. I’m not going to my grave without honoring Riley every day of my life because he didn’t want to die. ‘

A GoFundMe set up to help his family paid tribute to the boy with 'an infectious smile'

A GoFundMe set up to help his family paid tribute to the boy with 'an infectious smile'

A GoFundMe set up to help his family paid tribute to the boy with ‘an infectious smile’

New York State Police are urging parents to talk to their children about going online and establishing rules about when and where they surf or chat, and to keep an eye on their children’s social media accounts.

On Monday evening, a memorial service for Riley was held in Potsdam, with hundreds of locals gathering around the family as they released balloons into the air.

A GoFundMe founded to help his family, paid tribute to the boy with ‘an infectious smile’ who loved hunting deer, ducks and geese with his stepbrother and close friends, and enjoyed fishing, lacrosse and football.

The page will be used to pay for memorial services and to set up a scholarship in the name of Riley. It had reached nearly $ 40,000 on Thursday morning.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)