Spike in ‘sextortion’ cases targeting teenage boys in Tampa Bay

Still from Sextortion PSA // Credit: St Petersburg Police Department Facebook


The FBI Tampa Field Office has seen an increase in sextortion cases targeting teenage boys, and both the FBI and the St Petersburg Police Department are encouraging victims to come forward.

Sextortion occurs when a criminal encourages victims to send nude photos. After that, they are threatened to either send money or face their photos being shared with friends and family.

“’I got a friend request from this girl that just moved here. She said she saw my profile and thinks I’m hot’ ‘It starts with a few simple texts and maybe a few pictures, then quickly escalates into threats demands’  ‘They said if I don’t send the money, my family and friends will get the pictures’”

That’s audio from a newly released PSA from St. Pete PD and the FBI. FBI Special Agent in Charge David Walker says he’s seen 15 cases in the Tampa Bay area in the past week.

“We’re seeing the victims are getting younger and younger, right? So 13 years old is not unusual at this case.”

Walker says the usual targets are young men. St. Pete Chief of Police Anthony Holloway had a message for those behind the sextortion cases:

“We will find you. It may take time but we will find you.”

According to St. Pete Police, parents should have honest conversations with their kids about sextortion.

You may also like

Gov. DeSantis sends more Florida Highway Patrol and National Guardsmen to southern border

Listen: Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida Highway Patrol and National...

A Passport Fair is being held tomorrow

The Tampa Post Office will be hosting a Passport Fair....

Local middle school participates in a science experiment by NASA

A Florida Middle School is participating in a science experiment...

The Scoop: Fri., February 23, 2024 Tampa Bay and Florida headlines by WMNF

Legislature passes ban on kids using some social media A...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

Saturday Bluegrass Show
Player position: