(Last Updated On: March 24, 2022)

FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. Advice On Children’s Online Dangers

Advice on how to keep your family safe online!

United States Attorney’s Office, FBI Warns of Online Dangers

As the world continues to operate in a more virtual environment due to COVID-19 restrictions, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Christopher R. Derrickson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division are reminding people to continue to be vigilant when it comes to keeping your family safe online.

“The worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with our community. Many of our school, work, and social events are now conducted online, making the need to be aware of the threats posed even greater,” the Acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “Parents need to be aware of who their children are communicating with, what appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. they are using, and whether the games they are playing have a messaging or chat function. Predators can use all of these mechanisms to infiltrate our lives. The United States Attorney’s Office and our partners at the FBI are doing our part to keep you safe but we want parents, grandparents, and others to have as much information as possible to stay vigilant and protect their families as well.”

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Derrickson urges parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of the internet and what to do if someone approaches them with an inappropriate request.

“Sextortion is not a crime defined by sex, race, education, geography, or a family’s affluence – any child can be a victim of sexual exploitation.  The FBI is fully committed to working with our law enforcement partners to educate adults and children, investigate allegations, provide appropriate victim services, and prosecute predators,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Derrickson said today. “Prompt reporting is key in stopping these crimes, capturing the perpetrator, and preventing further victimizationVictimization Victimization (or victimization) is the process of being victimized or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimization is called victimology..  The FBI relies on assistance from the community, especially in these types of sensitive investigations.  Please do not be afraid or ashamed to contact authorities or tell a trusted adult to report suspected or actual exploitation.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Bubar, it is an unfortunate reality that individuals contact minors online and attempt to extort them, seeking inappropriate pictures or videos.

Last month in federal court in Roanoke, the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted a Roanoke man who had been communicating with an undercover federal agent he believed to be a 12-year-old. Over the course of several months, the defendant used online messaging apps to communicate with the victim, and several other minors, in attempts to convince them to send him nude pictures and videos of themselves.

Acting SAC Derrickson offered some advice on how parents can keep their children safe while navigating the ever-expanding online world:

Advice for Children:

  • Be selective about what you share online.
  • Be cautious of anyone you meet online for the first time – blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots •••/ignore messages from strangers.
  • Know that people can pretend to be anything/anyone online.  Images can be altered or stolen.
  • Be suspicious if you meet someone on one app and they ask you to move to a different platform.
  • Know and assume that any content you create online  — texts, photos/images, or videos — will be made public, permanently.  Nothing “disappears” online, and once sent to you – you have no control over where it goes.
  • Be willing to ask for help.

Advice for Adults:

  • Maintain active engagement with your children.  Open the door and encourage an open and honest conversation about online activity and possible victimization.
  • Place limits on internet use.
  • Consider shutting down Wi-Fi during overnight hours.
  • Review settings on social media and ensure they are set at the strictest level possible.
  • Spot check phones and other devices.
  • Know what apps are being used.
  • Know who is communicating with your child.
  • Be aware of what is being downloaded.
  • Know passwords to electronic devices.

Most importantly, if you feel you may have been a victim, or have seen something online you believe may be illegal, report it immediately by calling your local police department or contacting the FBI at:

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org

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