COLUMBUS, Ga. — The FBI says “sextortion” is the fastest growing crime against children on the internet. Police and counselors have advice for parents.
They say now is the time to talk with your children about it no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
Only five states, including Alabama, have made sextortion a stand alone crime but it occurs all across the country.
“It does go on and it goes on right here in Columbus,” Columbus Police Special Victims Unit Lt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick said.
Lt. Dent-Fitzpatrick told me it starts when a child sends a pornographic image or video and snowballs from there. Here’s what an online predator may say:
‘”Hey if you don’t continue to do this, I’m going to expose what you’ve shown me to the rest of the world,’” Lt. Dent-Fitzpatrick said.
At that point, the child feels trapped.
“They’re ashamed of what they’ve done and they don’t want to have to explain this to their