Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn said parents should educate themselves and their children about what the Federal Bureau of Investigation calls "sextortion" schemes that appear to be targeting teen boys who use the internet.

"It is imperative that parents talk to their children about online safety and the need to be suspicious of people they just met through the internet or an app," Quinn said. "It is easy to make mistakes in life, especially when we are young."

The FBI warns that teen boys are increasingly becoming victims of online sextortion schemes.
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The FBI says adult "scammers" might pose as girls to receive sexual images of boys and then blackmail them for money. The agency has released a video explaining the scheme to educate parents and potential victims on how it all works.

The FBI says sextortion can have "devastating effects on young victims."

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"The exponential increase in the amount of scammers, extortionists, and criminals utilizing the internet to prey upon both children and adults demands that we all get better educated about these issues and report matters to law enforcement officials when we are victimized," Quinn said.

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The FBI says some young people are ashamed or afraid to report their situation because their scammers have threatened to hurt them or loved ones if they do.

"There is no shame in making a mistake, but to compound that mistake by remaining silent and getting sucked deeper into victimization is not the answer," Quinn said.

The FBI said there is one surefire way to stay safe.

"Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are – or who they say are," the bureau suggested.

That sounds like solid advice.

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