Filed Under: U.S.

FBI warns of more ‘sextortion’ crimes targeting boys

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FBI is warning parents and caregivers about an increase in a form of online blackmailing that’s targeting children across the nation. ‘Sextortion’ begins when an adult contacts a minor over any online platform used to meet and communicate, such as a game, app, or social media account.

The FBI said last year more than 18,000 sextortion complaints were received with predators scamming over $13 million. While teen girls have historically been targeted, the agency said it’s now seeing more cases targeting teen boys. Agents said criminals are trying to expand their target base.

“It’s worked for young females. Why not go to another group? You’re disenfranchising half of your victim population by not targeting them as well,” Spencer Evans, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas, told KTNV-TV.

Dozens of these cases have ended with the victims taking their own lives, police and child advocates have told NBC News.

If you or someone you know is a target of sextortion, you’re encouraged to contact your local FBI field office, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-the-lost).

MAHMOUD BENNETT: ONLINE BLACKMAIL, IT’S NOT A NEW CONCEPT.

BUT NOW THE FBI IS SOUNDING THE ALARM ABOUT A NEW KIND OF SCHEME – SEXTORTION.

IT’S A CRIME THAT’S ON THE RISE WHERE ADULTS TARGET TEEN CHILDREN, lately IN PARTICULAR – YOUNG BOYS. 

SPENCER EVANS: “It’s worked for young females. Why not go to another group? You’re disenfranchising half of your victim population by not targeting them as well,” 

BENNETT: CRIMINALS POSE AS KIDS AND LURE IN OTHER KIDS THROUGH ONLINE GAMING PLATFORMS OR SOCIAL MEDIA.

BEFORE MANIPULATING THEM TO APPEAR EXPLICITLY ON CAMERA AND THREATENING TO RELEASE RECORDINGS  IF THE VICTIMS DON’T PAY UP.

LAST YEAR THE FBI RECEIVED MORE THAN 18-THOUSAND SEXTORTION COMPLAINTS.

OFFICIALS SAY THE ACTUAL NUMBER IS HIGHER AS VICTIMS ARE OFTEN ASHAMED TO COME FORWARD. SOME – EVEN TAKE THEIR OWN LIVES.
THE FBI’S ADVICE – DON’T FEEL ASHAMED IF YOU’RE A VICTIM – TELL AN ADULT.

FBI is warning parents and caregivers about an increase in a form of online blackmailing that’s targeting children across the nation. ‘Sextortion’ begins when an adult contacts a minor over any online platform used to meet and communicate, such as a game, app, or social media account.

The FBI said last year more than 18,000 sextortion complaints were received with predators scamming over $13 million. While teen girls have historically been targeted, the agency said it’s now seeing more cases targeting teen boys. Agents said criminals are trying to expand their target base.

“It’s worked for young females. Why not go to another group? You’re disenfranchising half of your victim population by not targeting them as well,” Spencer Evans, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas, told KTNV-TV.

Dozens of these cases have ended with the victims taking their own lives, police and child advocates have told NBC News.

If you or someone you know is a target of sextortion, you’re encouraged to contact your local FBI field office, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-the-lost).

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