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LINCOLN — Nebraska law enforcement officials warned parents Thursday to be on the lookout for internet blackmailers fooling children into sending them sexually explicit photos and videos.
In the scheme, known as “sextortion,” blackmailers pose as close-in-age peers or love interests on social media. After receiving images, they threaten to release them or show them to the victim’s parents unless they are paid. They might even threaten the safety of the youth’s family.
It is a serious crime, said the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol in a joint news release Thursday.
The agencies urged parents or guardians of child victims to report sextortion cases to the FBI Omaha office at 402-493-8688 or call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
The agencies said perpetrators, who pose as young boys or girls, approach children through social media before moving to more private messaging and video apps.
After establishing a “secret or special relationship,” the predator begins to ask for sexually explicit images and/or videos of the child, offering something of value for the images.
Additional information on sextortion can be found on the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office website.
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