A previous version of this story stated a 10-year-old may been involved in a sextortion case. We have now learned from New York State Police that after an investigation into the case, it was determined to be a mental health situation.
This is an updated version of the story.
MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Manlius Police are investigating an alleged case of sextortion, where online predators took advantage of kids in exchange for money.
The case involves a teenage victim who sent money to the online blackmailer, but they were still victimized as explicit photos of them were shared publicly.
Manlius Police Sgt. Ken Hatter says parents have to pay attention to their children, and children need to come forward if they have been victimized.
This comes as two Baldwinsville high school students were allegedly victims of sextortion over Snapchat. Hackers got control of the student’s Snapchat accounts and demanded money for the accounts to be released back to the students.
One student’s account did contain explicit images, and the hacker threatened to release them.
According to the FBI, sextortion can start on any website, app, messaging platform or game where people meet and communicate.
In some cases, the first contact with the criminal will be a threat. The person may claim they already have a revealing picture or video of a child that will be shared if the victim does not send more pictures. However, this crime more often starts when young people believe they are communicating with someone their own age who is interested in a relationship or with someone who is offering something of value.
The FBI has also seen an increase in the number of sextortion cases involving children and teens.