ATLANTA — Sextortion schemes targeting teenage victims are soaring in Georgia. In fact, the FBI reports cases in the state are up 700% since 2021.
Rapidly advancing AI technology is a big component.
The FBI told Channel 2′s Tom Regan they are hearing from more victims who report their personal photos and videos on social media are being altered, often in a sexually explicit way.
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Another common scheme: conning someone into sending a compromising picture, which is then used to blackmail them.
“After the picture is sent out, you typically get a message saying, well, now you’re going to pay me in a gift card or some sort of transaction, or we are going to send this photo to all of your friends on their own Instagram or Snapchat account,” FBI Atlanta Special Agent Thomas McAfee said.
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McAfee told Regan the typical amount requested is from $50 to $200. If the victim pays, they continue to come back asking for additional payments.
The schemes can end in tragedy.
How the death of a lawmaker’s son is pushing the fight against these schemes, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.
Video: Lawmaker talks about son’s suicide after being sextorted
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