The phenomenon is commonly called "sextortion," which usually happens through a social media platform.
The predator will meet a young person on an online platform pretending to be a young girl in an effort to get an adolescent to send them a sexually explicit video or picture.
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Dan Costin, San Francisco FBI supervisor, explains what the criminals do next after receiving an image from the victim, who he says are usually teenager.
"Once that image is traded, they continue to use that to try to further extort for additional images or for money by holding the images the victims have passed over," Costin says.
The predators then ask the victim for more money by threatening to share the images with the victim's friends.
The FBI says in recent years they have seen an increase in predators pretending to be young girls in hopes of coercing boys to send material.
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Costin says the advice is simple, don't share images with people you don't know.
"Be sure that somebody you're speaking with is someone you trust, have a relationship, somebody you know and not being willing to give out all of your secrets you just met an hour ago. You should be more cautious in what we share with strangers, whether that's face to face or online, the lesson is the same," says Costin.
Costin adds a red flag is if the escalation of the conversation from "hello" to being asked for sexual content.
If you believe you or someone you know is the victim of sextortion:
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