FBI warns about an uptick in sextortion schemes in our area

According to the FBI, there are sextortion plots targeting kids in Monroe, Shreveport, El Dorado and Alexandria. Criminals are using sextortion to pressure minors into sending sexual videos of themselves and then extorting them for money 

FBI Connor Hagan, Public Affairs Officer FBI, Little Rock says,  “the criminals, instead of asking for additional images would tell the victim hey you need to give me your mom’s credit card number or you need to tell me what your parents bank account log in information is.”  

According to the FBI, many predators are posing as children, on social media, and they’re targeting kids in our area.  

The reported schemes are usually from the ages of 13 to 17 years old 

 

Cali Philpot, Detective, RPSO special victims unit- “they’ll trust the person their talking with to give them their sign ins, once they send those pictures they then tell the juvenile that they have to send a certain amount of money. If not, they’ll log into instagram and snapchat, publish those pictures for the world to see and send them to their friends list or tell parents” 

Sextortion is considered a state and federal crime and carries heavy penalties  

It could also lead the victim into even more dangers like meeting up 

Hagan encourages young people not to converse with strangers 

Connor Hagan, FBI- if anyone that these juveniles don’t know approaches them online, ignore it. And criminals are pretty savvy, they will set up fictional accounts and especially with this final sextortion or financially motivated scheme 

Embarrassment is what usually keeps children from coming forward  

So Cainan Baker with the Rapides Parish Sheriffs Office says,  

Creating a safe space for them to  release is critical 

Cainan Baker – RPSO Detective,  “what we want is that open line of communication between the parents and the children or at a minimum, a child would tell someone at school 

Organizations like CAN are going into schools and educating parents on prevention methods and red flags” 

Rachel Austin , child trafficking response coordinator – “just looking for some of the red flags. If your youth are starting to be more secretive…being vague about who their talking to online. Or lost of interest in age appropriate activities.”

If you or you family were to find yourself in a sextortion situation 

Police say keeps everything, its necessary to find and stop predators