(PresidentialHill.com)- The FBI sounds the alarm about a spike in sexual extortion cases among teens in Pittsburgh. They want parents and their children to be hypervigilant about these “sextortion” crimes.
According to investigators, predators target adolescent males online and pose as girls their age and try to talk them into compromising situations.
The boys are usually between 14 and 17 years of age. The predators will engage with them and make them believe they are conversing with a teen girl. As time goes on, they will request nude photos or videos.
Once sent, they blackmail the kids by threatening to post the graphic photographs on the internet or tell them they will mail the pictures to their relatives and friends.
Usually, the teens break down out of fear and agree to pay off the extortionists.
But, it doesn’t stop there. After the initial payment is made, more and more money demand follows. The victims are so stressed and embarrassed that they go along with the additional ultimatums.
The FBI in Pittsburgh has seen a substantial uptick in the amount of these types of cases.
In 2021,142 people were scammed and paid cyber thieves close to $40,000.
In just three months in 2022, 59 people have handed over nearly $20,000.
According to the FBI, the purpose of sextortion is not the same as the typical child sex crime. The aim is not sexual; it is purely financial. Once they get the picture or video, they have all they need. The requests for things of a sexual nature cease, and the demand for money begins.
To keep you and your children safe online, the FBI offers the following advice:
● Protect your personal information and passwords. Your social media accounts give away more information about you than you realize.
● Be cautious with anybody you meet online for the first time.
● Be wary that anybody can claim to be anyone or anything on the internet.
● Videos and photographs do not prove that someone is who they say they are.
● Be wary if you meet someone on a game or app and they want you to start chatting with them on a different platform.
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