Federal Way

Online game leads to harassment, extortion for local teen

Online game leads to harassment, extortion for local teen »Play Video
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Online bullying and Xbox extortion are new terms to dad Joe Ferreri. But allegations made to Federal Way police are no child's play. He wishes it was that way for his 13-year-old son Nicholas.

"So he wanted the Xbox," Joe said of his son. "So now he's in the big league and he's got a lot of weirdoes out there in the big league with him."

Six months ago, while playing online with friends, Nicholas said a new player began harassing them over game chat.

Suddenly, Nicholas and his dad say that harassing player took control.

"This guy had put pornography up there. He put a bunch of things up there and took control over our internet," Joe said.

Then this past Saturday, the Ferreris say the whole thing escalated to extortion.

"The guy said, 'Yeah, if you want me to leave you alone, I need $500 in a PayPal account otherwise I'm going to shut your internet down,'" Ferreri said.

Joe Ferreri called Federal Way Police, who are now working with the Xbox live security team.

Cathy Schrock with Federal Way Police said while the Ferreri's didn't fall for the money trap, parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing online.

Joe hopes something comes from the investigation and wants other families to stand up, take notice -- and fight back.

"The only way we're going to stop this kind of stuff is continually file these reports and make it known," Joe said.