FBI Charlotte has received 29 reports of sextortion so far in 2022. In those reports 23 of them were criminals demanding money. We’ve come a long way since photos on milk cartons with missing children’s photo. But here we are in the digital world where complete strangers look, follow and try to groom children, teens and adults. Our FBI Public Affairs Specialist FBI Charlotte Division always brings issues to educate us about scams and crimes. The FBI has seen a an uptick in the number of cases involving children and teens being coerced by adults. This crime of sextortion is when someone sends you explicit images online. The first step could come from a criminals threat. Follow on twitter @FBICharlotte to learn more.
This is a shocking and anxious time for victims. The person might say that they already have a compromising pictures or videos of you or your child. As parents we tell our kids not to talk to strangers but in most cases your child thinks their communicating with someone their own age. Clubs with friends with similar interest. Just remember that the exchange may be a threat, gifts, money, compliments, lies, or other methods to get a young person to produce pictures. Some predator’s use these photos for personal use, but in most cases these photos are sold across the globe.
Tips from Charlotte FBI: Be selective about what you share online, especially your personal information and passwords. If your social media accounts are open to everyone, a predator may be able to figure out a lot of information about you or your children.
Be wary of anyone you encounter for the first time online. Block or ignore messages from strangers.
Be aware that people can pretend to be anything or anyone online. Videos and photos are not proof that a person is who they claim to be.
Be suspicious if you meet someone on a game or app and they ask you to start talking to them on a different platform.
Encourage children to report suspicious behavior to a trusted adult.
Contact local law enforcement or the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.
Do not delete anything on your device before law enforcement is able to review it.
Tell law enforcement everything about the encounters you had online; it may be embarrassing, but it is necessary to find the offender and can protect other children.
Follow on twitter @FBICharlotte to learn more.