Omaha FBI warns of rising cases of sexual extortion against children and teenagers
OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — The FBI field office in Omaha drew attention Thursday to a growing threat to children and teens in our area.
It says there has been an increase in reports of financial extortion, sometimes more than one new report per week.
What happens is that an adult, often pretending to be a child, coerces another child into posting or creating sexually explicit images online. After that, they threaten to share them if the victim doesn’t send the money.
This can happen on phones, tablets, desktops, and even gaming apps.
To prevent this, the FBI advises making sure privacy settings are set high, reminding children that what they post online stays there, and if they feel uncomfortable saying something to an adult they trust.
“Of course, kids need to be reminded not only of the dangers of the Internet, but that there are people they can talk to about it,” said Special Agent in Charge Gene Cowell.
If a child is a victim of one of these crimes, they suggest letting him speak without judgment and then making sure the images are no longer posted.
It is also recommended to ask them not to delete the conversations and ashamed to share everything with law enforcement.
Reports can be filed with the police, the local FBI office in Omaha, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.