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Monday, May 29th, 2023

FBI, partners issue global financial sextortion warning

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined international law enforcement partners in issuing a warning regarding global financial sextortion.

“Financial sextortion has a far wider impact than just our country and our kids—it is a global crisis that demands everyone’s attention,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “The FBI is working hand-in-hand with our international partners to prevent children from becoming victims of this tragic crime. We all have a duty to support and empower victims to come forward and show them that there is life after images.”

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are part of the financial sextortion combating initiative, according to officials.

Financial sextortion can happen anywhere and mainly occurs on digital platforms where children spend screen time, such as social media, gaming websites, or video chat applications.

On those platforms, predators often pose as girls of a similar age and use fake accounts to target young boys, deceiving them into sending explicit photos or videos. The predator then threatens to release the compromising materials unless the victim sends payment, acknowledging in many cases, the predator will release the images anyway.

“We understand how young victims of this crime can feel like there’s no way out, but we want them to know that they’re not alone,” National Center for Missing & Exploited Children CEO Michelle DeLaune said. “In the past year, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has received more than 10,000 sextortion-related reports. Please talk to your children about what to do if they (or their friends) are targeted online. NCMEC has free resources to help navigate an overwhelming and scary situation.”

The FBI encourages exploitation to be reported by contacting the local FBI field office via 1-800-CALL-FBI or reporting online at