Parents with young children who use the internet are going to want to be aware of this one.  This new threat could cost them everything.

Scams happen every day.  They're awful when you are the unknowing victim of one and they can make you feel so naive.  But being aware that someone is trying to trick you is how you don't get taken for a loss. If you have young children, it could be tough to have this conversation with them, but it's incredibly important.

One of the latest things that police are warning parents about are cases of online "Sextortion."  Unfortunately, they're targeting teen boys between the ages of 14 and 17.  Here's how it works - an adult will go online and pretend to be a teenage girl around the same age as the victim. They will coerce a boy on social media, online gaming, or an app to chat with them privately.  While in the chat they will then convince them to engage in sexual activity on a video that they will record without the young boy knowing.  Then they will threaten the boy to give them money or they will release it online for the world to see.

The FBI in Pittsburgh are warning people that it is happening there and want others to know so that it doesn't happen anywhere else.

“These are not the traditional child predators that are just looking for more explicit images. They’re looking for money,” - FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. 

While this particular scheme seems to target boys, it's something that all kids should be aware of.  The problem is that if they do get duped into creating the video, they often won't come forward after the fact due to embarrassment or fear of getting in trouble.  The best thing you can do is to talk to your kids ahead of time to avoid it happening in the first place.

Education is key to stopping these individuals and sparing our children the shame, fear and confusion they feel when they’re caught in this cycle. - FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. 

Remind your kids that when they're online, videos and photos are NOT proof that a person is who they claim to be. People can pretend to be anyone or anything online.

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