Scammers Target Children With Vile Tactic

Scammers Target Children With Vile Tactic

EVIL Scamming Tactic Is Targeting U.S. Children

( – The internet can be a blessing or a curse. The same tool that connects people to limitless information can also allow predators to target children. Reportedly, the latest vile scam criminals are using against kids is “sextortion.” This tactic recently led one California teen to take his life. Here’s what you need to know.

This spring, a scammer targeted 17-year-old Ryan Last, a Boy Scout and straight-A student. After saying goodnight to his mother at 10 p.m., Last spoke with a person he believed was a teenage girl. They exchanged explicit photographs, and then the cybercriminal demanded thousands of dollars with the threat of making the photo public.

The young boy sent $150, claiming he didn’t have much money to spare. When the scammer continued to demand more, Last took his own life. The Western Journal shared a photo of Last and his mother, along with a warning to other families:

The FBI has seen a marked increase in the number of sextortion cases recently. The agency’s webpage highlights how the “shame, fear, and confusion” surrounding the situation often prevents children from telling parents what’s happening.

For any parent whose child has access to texting or social media, it’s vital to talk about internet safety frequently with your child and install safeguards if necessary. If you or someone you know falls victim to extortion, the FBI asks that you contact your local FBI field office to report the crime.

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