Salt Lake Sextortion PSA

Salt Lake Sextortion PSA

Video Transcript

Silhouetted woman with text

“Michelle”/Victim’s Mother

“I didn’t realize that something was going on until I got the call from school. It was the principal of the school saying, ‘You need to go home right now, something’s wrong.’”

“He was already home from school that day because he had told me he wasn’t feeling well. There were messages sent to a few of his good friends, just saying goodbye in a sense, you know, telling people he loves them. Thankfully those friends came forward to school officials.”

“I called my stepdad and just said, ‘I need you to go to my house right now.’ When my stepdad arrived at the house, he found my son in a situation where it appeared that he was actively thinking about committing suicide.”

GRAPHIC: As soon as “Michelle” got home, she rushed her son to the hospital.

“He eventually said, ‘Mom I need to tell you something.’ He had started talking to a girl on social media. It was a girl his age. They had started talking about being in a boyfriend, girlfriend relationship, and that she had asked him to send her pictures of himself. He did that.”

“Almost immediately it turned into her asking him for money. It became very demanding and aggressive. She had sent him pictures of his school’s social media account, a number of his friends’ social media accounts, my social media account. She had told him that she knows where we live. He was trying to figure out what to do.”

“I realized that this is not some teenage girl.”

“I blocked the phone number that had been calling him and almost immediately, a different phone number started texting him. They sent him what looked to be an FBI identify card and said that the FBI was looking into him.”

“I never thought this would happen to us.”

GRAPHIC: From October 2021 to March 2023, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations received over 13,000 reports of online financial sextortion of minors. The sextortion involved at least 12,600 victims, primarily boys, and led to at least 20 suicides.

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