The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), in conjunction with their Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), is warning Michigan parents and teens about a cruel and painful form of extortion faced by our state's youth. 'Fansigning' involves criminals coercing their victims into carving numbers, letters, and symbols onto their bodies.

Related: Beware of SWATTING and DOXING: FBI Warning to Michigan Parents

The overall ploy is part of the growing 'Sextortion' criminal element in Michigan that targets children between the ages of 8 and 17. These sick individuals will convince their victims to share explicit pictures and/or pictures and then threaten to send them to their family, friends, or even post them on social media and other public sites unless they comply with their demands.

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FBI WARNING: Michigan Teens Facing Painful ‘FANSIGNING’ Extortion

While this may sound like something ripped from an afterschool special, it is all too real. The United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan, recently indicted Richard Anthony Reyna Densmore, 47, of Kaleva, on February 5, 2024, for his involvement in a Michigan sextortion ring.

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According to the United States Attorney's office press release, under the username 'Rabid,' Densmore created a chatroom in Discord called 'The Sewer.' One of the goals of the group was to stream minors harming themselves and engaging in sexual acts. Densmore allegedly convinced several teens to carve his username, 'Rabid,' onto their bodies.

FBI WARNING: Michigan Teens Facing Painful ‘FANSIGNING’ Extortion

Densmore would keep these photos, videos, and other related images on his phone. Sadly, this is just one example of the sick actors lurking in the dark corners of the internet, waiting to pounce on one of our state's most vulnerable and impressionable populations: our youth. The FBI and US Attorney's office recommend parents of Michigan teens take the following steps to ensure their children's safety,

  • Look for unusual patterns of cuts, bruises, wounds, and scars
  • Keep an eye out for changes in behavior or appearance
  • Watch out for long sleeves or pants being worn in odd situations (hot weather, for instance)
  • Keep an eye on your child's online behavior, including sharing and browsing history

If you believe you, or someone you know, are victims of crimes that use these or similar tactics, you are urged to gather and keep all information and report it to:

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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