FBI Phoenix
Brooke Brennan and Kevin Smith
(623) 466-1999
September 15, 2020

FBI Warns of Sextortion Attempts in Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ—The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about recent incidents in Arizona involving sextortion. The FBI is seeing cases that involve an adult coercing teenagers through social media into producing sexual images and videos online.

Sextortion can start on any site where people meet and communicate. Through deception, manipulation, money and gifts, or threats, the predator convinces the young person to produce an explicit video or image. When the young person starts to resist requests to make more images, the criminal will use threats of harm or exposure of the early images to pressure the child to continue producing content.

The FBI advises on these tips to help protect you online:

  1. Be selective about what you share online, especially your personal information and passwords. If your social media accounts are open to everyone, a predator may be able to figure out a lot of information about you.
  2. Be wary of anyone you encounter for the first time online. Block or ignore messages from strangers.
  3. Be aware that people can pretend to be anything or anyone online. Videos and photos are not proof that a person is who they claim to be.
  4. Be suspicious if you meet someone on one game or app and they ask you to start talking to them on a different platform.
  5. Be willing to ask for help. If you are getting messages or requests that don’t seem right, block the sender and report the behavior.

If you believe someone you know has been a victim of sextortion, contact the FBI Phoenix Field office at (623)466-1999 or report the crime online at tips.fbi.gov.

For more information about Sextortion, including resources for teens, schools, parents and caregivers click here: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/stop-sextortion-youth-face-risk-online-090319