FBI Says More Children Are Being Targeted in Extortion Scams

FBI Says More Children Are Being Targeted in Extortion Scams

FBI Issues Heartbreaking Warning About Children

(DailyVantage.com) – Giving children access to technology comes with risks, especially when they may not use sound judgment about sharing personal information. Minors are susceptible to falling victim to online predators. Now, the FBI is warning parents about “sextortion,” a crime that has led multiple teens and children to commit suicide.

Sextortion isn’t new, but the violation is incredibly damaging, especially to children. It occurs when predators convince their victims to share revealing videos or pictures of themselves, whether partially or fully nude or in a compromising position. Then, they use these images to extort their victims, asking for more photos or videos or demanding money. If the child or teen refuses, the predator threatens to post the compromising pictures online or to harm them in other ways.

According to Dallas FBI agent Jim Dwyer, teenage boys between the ages of 14 and 17 are the most at-risk. Predators often pretend to be girls and lure the boys into sending images the manipulators use against them. The embarrassment and trauma associated with this scam have caused more than one teen to commit suicide, especially if they’re too ashamed to talk to their parents or guardians about the situation.

Authorities advise parents to keep tabs on their children’s online activity and talk with them about the scams.

Victims of exploitation should reach out to the closest FBI field office by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or reporting it online at tips.fbi.gov.

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