Davidson News

Davidson News

Financial Sextortion Becomes Rampant Targeting Minors in North Carolina

A rising cyber-social menace, termed financial sextortion, is rapidly infiltrating North America’s online landscape particularly on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Wizz. Shockingly, a study by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) reveals that this form of exploitation, involving minors, has raked in millions of dollars and is linked to a disturbing tally of 21 suicides, The Messenger Business reports.

Financial sextortion has become rampant in North America, victimizing minors, mostly young men (Photo: IPV Network)

Financial Sextortion Exploiting Vulnerable Minors

Financial sextortion primarily preys on young men who are deceived into sharing compromising photos with a criminal masquerading as a peer. The perpetrators then leverage these images, threatening to expose them to family, friends, and followers unless a ransom is paid.

The NCRI study exposes a surge in sextortion cases, driven by the notorious cybercriminal group known as the “Yahoo Boys,” primarily based in West Africa. The FBI has witnessed a staggering 1,000 percent increase in this form of blackmail over the last 18 months.

Described as the “fastest-growing crime targeting children in North America and Australia” by the FBI, sextortion criminals strategically deploy fake accounts to infiltrate high schools, youth sports teams, and universities, employing sophisticated social engineering tactics.

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Rapid Rise and Disturbing Statistics

The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations received over 13,000 reports of online financial sextortion between October 2021 and March 2023, painting a grim picture of the rapidly escalating threat.

The alarming link between financial sextortion and tragic outcomes, such as suicides, underscores the urgent need for heightened awareness and preventive measures to safeguard vulnerable individuals.

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