‘IDK what to do’: Thousands of teen boys are being extorted in sexting scams
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post
Posted: October 8th, 2023
Lynn and Paul were sitting in their Seattle home one night earlier this year when their son, Michael, a 17-year-old high school football player, burst into the room and made a beeline for his mom’s purse. “I’m being blackmailed,” he said. Michael had fallen prey to what online safety and law enforcement experts call financial sextortion, in which predators befriend victims online under false pretenses, entice them to send incriminating photos and then demand payment under threat that they’ll expose the photos to family and friends. The number of sextortion cases targeting young people “has exploded in the past couple of years,” with teen boys being specific targets, said Lauren Coffren, executive director of the Exploited Children Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC, which serves as a clearinghouse for records of abuse, received more than 10,000 tips of financial sextortion of minors, primarily boys, in 2022 from the public as well as from electronic service providers, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, which are required by law to report cases. By the end of July 2023, NCMEC had already received more than 12,500 reports. The repercussions of the abuse are devastating: At least a dozen boys died by suicide in 2022, after they were blackmailed, according to the FBI. Meanwhile, social media companies are playing catch up to stem the tidal wave of sextortion scams targeting children.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.