The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is warning about an increase in sextortion cases
The scheme involves a perpetrator convincing a victim to send explicit photos, which are then used as blackmail. The victims in these cases are typically children.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is issuing a warning regarding the growing prevalence of sextortion cases in the state.
Sextortion is when someone convinces a victim to send explicit photos of themselves, typically through messaging applications and social media, which are then used against them as blackmail. The perpetrators typically ask for money or more photos, and threaten to post the pictures to social media or send them to friends and family if their demands aren't met.
The Department of Public Safety says that incidents where the perpetrator asks for money are rising, and that children are often the victims in sextortion cases.
Drew Evans, the superintendent for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, says having conversations with your children about these threats, and how to stay safe on the internet, are critical.
"These criminals are counting on your children to feel fear and shame. They're counting on our children to be afraid to tell you or another trusted adult, and that's why these conversations are so important to have," Evans said.
More than 7,000 of these cases were reported nationwide in 2022.