The Queen Creek Police Department said the FBI's Phoenix field office is warning about an increase in sextortion schemes targeting young boys.
Across the country, the FBI is receiving an increasing number of reports of adults posing as young girls coercing young boys through social media to produce sexual images and videos, and then extorting money from them.
These crimes are difficult to solve as it's not easy to track down the suspects. Prevention is key. The FBI is offering the following tips to protect your children from becoming victims of this crime:
- Be wary of who you encounter online. Block or ignore messages from strangers.
- Be aware that people can pretend to be anything or anyone online.
- Remind children that once photos are sent on the Internet – through email or an app – that content is out there forever, and you can’t get it back.
If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of sextortion, contact the QCPD non-emergency line at 480-358-3500 or the FBI Phoenix field office at 623-466-1999.