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Snap adds new warnings and region blocks to address teen ‘sextortion’ scams

A screenshot highlighting the new warning message in Snapchat.
Snapchat will now warn users when a message comes from certain regions or an account that’s been blocked by others. | Image: Snap

Snap is rolling out intense new protections for teenagers’ Snapchat accounts in an effort to “address a growing trend of sophisticated sextortion scams.” Among them are new warnings and automatic friend request blocks targeting accounts that may be bad actors.

The features are aimed at stemming the tide of sextortion scams, the company writes in a blog post about the changes. The scams, in which bad actors threaten teens and children that they will reveal sexually explicit photos of them unless they pay a ransom or send more such material, is a growing problem that “has resulted in an alarming number of deaths by suicide,” according to the FBI. The bureau writes on its site that even when the scammers are paid, they will often release…

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