They can appear to be peers: teenagers who want to meet other kids on online gaming platforms or social media pages.
But in reality, they’re adults who prey upon children, typically boys ages 14 to 17, the FBI says.
The criminal will ask a child to send compromising photos or videos and then threaten to release the images unless the victim sends money or produces more photos.
Children can become so distraught they will consider harming themselves, the FBI said in a statement released Jan. 16.
From Oct. 2021 - March 2023, there were over 13,000 reports of online financial sextortion of minors, and incidents are on the rise, the FBI said.
The child will not be in trouble and should block the predator, keep the predator’s profile or messages for law enforcement and call 1-800-CALL-FBI or go to tips.fbi.gov.