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FBI issues warning about spike in sextortion cases

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 18:11:34-04

CLEVELAND  — Sextortion cases are on the rise and the FBI is issuing a warning for parents.

“It can put a kid in a really bad spot,” said Cleveland FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson.

Adults are preying on children and it usually starts on social media sites popular with children.

“The average age is 10 to 17,” said Anderson.

An adult persuades a child to send some kind of sexual or explicit picture of themselves, then the predator uses that picture to exploit more images by threatening to expose what the child has done, that’s sextortion.

“We’ve had a couple of children actually commit suicide because of this,” said Anderson.

The number of cases the FBI handles has jumped to 60% in the last five years.

Anderson wants to be clear that in a sextortion case, it is the adult who will be prosecuted not the child.

The FBI recently launched a stop sextortion campaign aimed at educating parents and caregivers about sextortion.

For more information on the stop sextortion campaign, click here.