Extortion of missing families is wide-spread on Facebook
Over the last couple of years I have heard stories from missing families about people who contact them saying they know where their family member is, AND for money they will tell them.
Many time, when a family member first gets one of these messages they understandably don’t realize it is a scam. When they do realize it and report it to the police, there is not much that can be done. Police many times don’t have the resources to track the scammer down and usually they get away with it and go on to harass another family. But, lately, the authorities have been able to catch a few of these scammers and are charging them with extortion.
On September 28, 2018, Rozzari Young’s, 23, harassment of two missing families has been identified by the police. After the messages were sent, the FBI began tracing the communications through Facebook and phone records that ultimately led them to Reno, Nev. and Young.
According to the federal complaint Young was arrested during an undercover prostitution sting. When they went through her phone they found the proof of her extortion from the text messages that she sent to the families of Lashaya Stine and Alycia Yeoman. Now she is facing charges of trying to extort money.
According to the federal complaint Young, used the Facebook name of Facia Quinn, Rozarri Wadley and James Stokes. Here is an example to the message she sent to Yeoman’s and Stine’s families according to the document: “You want to see her again, pay me or she’s dead,” and “She owes me for stealing my dope.” Later Young stated, “Lashaya owe me for loosing my **** you gone pay me back or she gone work for it…and if she try and run off he gone get what he deserve you get police involved youll never see her again.”
When the family asks how much she owed, Young responded, “She owes over 2,000 dollars but we can work something out to get her back home im tires of hearing her crying. And i must repeat you get the law enforcement involved the deal will be off.”
To read all of the conversation click here.
Young is not the only one that has recently been arrested for this. In April 2018, Travis Gardner, 26, sent Facebook messages to the family of Ebony Giddens demanding they send him a million dollars or they would never see Giddens again. The authorities found Gardner and arrested him and charged him with criminal attempt theft by extortion and terroristic threats and intimidation.
Even with these success, there are many that are never caught. I have been contacted by several families that stated they have received message from unknown individuals that said they know where their family member is or even where they are buried. But, when you try to get specific details from the person then the conversation becomes more and more evasive and the subject of money comes up. But, not always, as in some cases they don’t want any money, they just want to harass the family and cause pain to a family that is already hurting.
Back in 2011, someone with the name of “The Keeper” sent emails threatened to hurt missing Daniel O’Keeffe unless they paid $100,000 the Geelong Advertiser reports.
Kelsie Shelling’s family was contacted by Jenna McClain who said life was in danger, but she wanted to pass conversation on to a male associate, who wrote: “Ma’am, please, your daughter is not dead. She will be back home alive.” Then went on to describe she was being held.
In the disappearance of Megan Lancaster, a Jenna McLain reached out to Megan’s family through Facebook, said she had news about the case, then passed the conversation on to a male who said, “I know where Megan is. And I can get her back.” Then went on to describe her being held for sex trafficking.
Young faces prison and fines
Young faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted in the Yeoman case.
If you are a victim of extortion on Facebook, remember to report it to law enforcement