FBI Releases Warning on Sextortion Scams Targeting Teenagers
Cyber scammers are increasingly targeting teenagers in sextortion campaigns, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned earlier this week. The agency is urging people not to send explicit pictures to strangers and not to be afraid “to ask for help” if they fall victim to a sextortion scam.
The FBI describes sextortion as “a federal crime that happens when an adult coerces a child to produce sexually explicit photographs or video of themselves and then send it to them over the Internet.” This coercion can take on many forms , but the FBI “is seeing an increasing number of cases start on connected gaming systems, where the competition is intense and the offer of game credits or codes is enough to convince a child to create an explicit image, ” Special Agent Brian Herrick stated. Special Agent Ryan Barrett warns that “the second the criminal gets a picture, that child’s life is going to be turned upside down.”