February 26, 2024

AI Is Being Used to Blackmail Teens With Fake Nudes

The FBI is warning households concerning the rise of on-line “sextortion,” as prison rings are starting to use synthetic intelligence (AI) to blackmail teenage victims with faked sexually express pictures.

Financial sextortion typically entails an offender coercing a minor to ship sexual pictures or movies of themselves, then threatening to launch that content material until they pay up.

“Offenders threaten to release that compromising material unless they receive payment, which is often requested in gift cards, mobile payment services, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency,” the FBI’s Little Rock, Arkansas, discipline workplace said in a January 25 press launch. “These offenders are motivated by financial gain, not necessarily just sexual gratification.”

While victims have a tendency to be teenage boys, the bureau asserts that “any child can become a victim.”

The offenders are often a part of prison rings positioned outdoors of the U.S., primarily in West African and Southeast Asian international locations.

From October 2021 to March 2023, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations acquired greater than 13,000 stories of on-line monetary sextortion of minors throughout the nation, which led to not less than 20 sufferer suicides.

In the six months between October 2022 and March 2023, the FBI noticed “at least” a 20 p.c improve in stories involving minor victims in contrast to the identical interval the earlier 12 months.

Now, the FBI’s Charlotte, North Carolina, discipline workplace is sounding the alarm on AI sextortion:

Recently, a number of the criminals have additionally used synthetic intelligence to manipulate pictures from a sufferer’s social media account into sexually themed pictures, then share them on social media, public boards, or pornographic web sites.

Paying the criminals doesn’t make the scheme cease. They’ll proceed to ask for more cash.

The FBI recommends defending your self on social media or gaming platforms within the following methods: 

Be cautious of anybody who makes an attempt to join to you on-line that you just haven’t met in particular person. Block or ignore messages from strangers. 

Be conscious folks fake to be anybody on-line. Videos and pictures aren’t proof that an individual is who they declare to be. 

Be suspicious if somebody you join with asks you to begin speaking on a distinct platform. 

Encourage youngsters to report suspicious habits to a trusted grownup. 

A West African sextortion group often known as the “Yahoo Boys” has contributed to driving the stories of on-line sextortion up, Breitbart News reported in January. 

The cybercriminals have a distinguished presence on social media platforms, corresponding to Instagram, Snapchat, and Wizz, in accordance to a latest study from the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI).

The institute discovered that the Yahoo Boys have posted coaching movies and guides on TikTok, Scribd, and YouTube to assist others run monetary sextortion scams on social media platforms.

The NCRI additionally famous that such materials revealed on varied platforms had garnered greater than half 1,000,000 views.

“The exploitation of children is a reprehensible crime and will not be tolerated by the FBI,” stated Special Agent in Charge Alicia Corder of the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office. “Our office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to protect Arkansas children from sextortion and hold these predators accountable.”

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