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FBI Omaha warns of increase in sextortion cases targeting children and teens

Posted at 10:58 PM, Feb 02, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday, the FBI's Field Office in Omaha drew attention to a growing threat against children and teens in our area.

It says it’s seeing a rise in reports of financial sextortion, sometimes more than one new report a week.

What happens is that an adult, often pretending to be a child, coerces another child to send or create sexually explicit images online. After that, they threaten to share them if the victim doesn't send money.

This can happen on phones, tablets, desktop computers and even gaming apps.

To prevent something like this from happening, the FBI says to make sure there are high privacy settings, remind kids that what they put online stays there and if they feel uncomfortable with something to tell a trusted adult.

“Children need to be reminded of course not only the dangers online but that there's people they can talk to about this,” said Special Agent in Charge Gene Kowel.

If a child has been a victim of one of these crimes, they suggest allowing them to talk without judgment and then making sure no more images are shared.

It is also recommended to ask that they do not delete conversations and no matter how embarrassing to share everything with law enforcement.

Reports can be made to the police, the Omaha FBI Field Office or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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