According to four federal law enforcement officials and two industry investigators, big tech companies have been tricked into providing sensitive personal information about their customers in response to fraudulent legal requests, and the information has been used to harass and even sexually blackmail minors.

Companies that have complied with the fake requests include Metaplatforms Inc., apple inc, alphabet incis google, snap inc, Twitter Inc. and Discord Inc., according to three of the people. All individuals asked for anonymity to speak openly about the sneaky new breed of online crime involving underage victims.

The fraudulently obtained data was used to target certain women and minors and, in some cases, pressure them to create and share sexually explicit material and get revenge on them if they refuse, the six people said.

The tactic is seen by law enforcement and other investigators as the latest criminal tool to…

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