I have been warning you about sextortion scams for seven years, but it is important to alert parents about a new development in this scam. Generally, sextortion scam begins with an email in which you are told that your computer and web cam have been hacked and that the scammers have video of you watching porn online. In the email, the scammer threatens to send the videos to people on his contact list unless you pay a ransom in Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency.
Earlier this year, the FBI warned parents about adult predators, often posing as young girls, contacting teenage boys on a variety of online platforms such as games or social media and then convincing the teenage boys to engage in explicit sexual activity while unbeknownst to the teenaged boy, the predator is recording it. The scammer then reveals to the teenager that the scammer has the recording and threatens to post it online unless a substantial payment is made. More recently the Montgomery County Alabama District Attorney issued a similar warning after observing an increase in incidents.
The FBI advises parents to tell their children to be very careful as to what they share online. Social media accounts which are open to everyone provide predators and scammers with a lot of information that the scammers can use to lure people into scams. Discuss the appropriate privacy settings with your children for all of their accounts.
The FBI also tells parents to remind their children that they can never be sure as to who they are communicating with online and they should be particularly skeptical if they meet someone on a game or app who then asks to speak with them on a different platform.
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