The US is alarmed by an “explosion” of child “extortion” cases

The FBI has seen an increase in sexual extortion in the country.

The US authorities sounded the alarm on Monday, December 19, in light of what they describe as “blow upcases of children being forced to pay after being pressured to send sexual images, a phenomenon known as “sextortion”.

According to the United States Federal Police, the FBI, last year law enforcement in the United States recorded more than 7,000 cases of “sextortionconcerning young children and teenagers, and for a total of 3000 victims. Most of the cases involve boys, more than a dozen of whom committed suicide, the FBI said. The agency says most of the sextortion operations come from outside the United States, mainly from Nigeria and Ivory Coast. They usually start in chat rooms and online gambling sites where people use fake female identities.

Victims are persuaded to send sexual images of themselves before being threatened with the publication of those images if a sum of money is not paid, according to the FBI. The young people targeted are generally between 14 and 17 years old, but the police have interviewed victims as young as 10 years old.

The shame, fear and confusion that victims feel when trapped often prevents them from seeking help.“, assesses the FBI. The Federal Police urges parents to educate their children about the existence of this threat.

The FBI has seen an alarming increase in financial sextortion cases targeting underage boys — and the fact is, most victims who are afraid to report themselves aren’t even included in those numbers.FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “Victims may think there is no way out«, he advanced. “It is up to all of us to reassure them that they will get out of trouble, that there is hope and that they are not alone.“.

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