FBI Louisville reports spike in sexual exploitation, sextortion cases involving children

‘It’s sometimes right in our own communities’

FBI Louisville: Spike in sextortion

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (FOX19) - According to a tweet from FBI Louisville, the department has seen an increase in sexual exploitation and sextortion cases involving children ages 10-17.

Newport Detective Dennis McCarthy is a member of the Kentucky State Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. McCarthy can’t speak on any local cases but does say the problem has become a nationwide issue.

“There is a tremendous increase in what’s known commonly as sextortion, online bullying, that kind of stuff -- and basically what we’re coming to see is that there’s more and more ongoing trend of people being violated online,” McCarthy said. “We’re also seeing where kids are doing it to each other. It’s not just the old mentality that it’s this evil lurking bad person that no one ever has meet that is online. It’s sometimes right in our own communities.”

The FBI offers several informative videos and written articles on their website about the crime. McCarthy suggests having a talk with your children. If words aren’t getting through to your kids there are alternatives.

McCarthy identified the app Bark as a possible solution for parents who want to have a more active role in monitoring their children’s online activity. The app uses an algorithm to monitor the words your son or daughter is typing into their mobile device.

“It looks for keywords that you would set up so if you wanted to set up a keyword for ‘sneaking out,' just to make a kind of generic example,” McCarthy said. “If the child put the word ‘sneaking out’ or any kind of relevant word that you’ve set you would get an alert on your phone, ‘Hey, this kind of communication is going on.’”

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