COLORADO SPRING, CO — The Colorado Springs Police Department held a press conference Friday to warn of "sextortion scammers" impersonating officers.
According to the department, these scammers have been impersonating officers who work for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and are targeting youth through predatory and blackmail techniques.
The department says one common trend they have seen in sextortion cases is the targeting of boys between the ages of 14-17 years old.
Predators will use tactics like faking to be young girls, and faking romantic interests through social media, gaming platforms, and other methods.
CSPD says these are some of the tactics predators have been using:
- Developing a false rapport with the victim
- Secretly recording explicit videos and messages during chats
- Using multiple identities to contact the child
- Pretending to be younger or a member of the opposite sex
- Hacking accounts to steal sexual images
- Threatening to commit suicide if the victim refuses to send images
- Visiting public social media profiles to find out more about the victim
The Colorado Springs Police Department says as the lead agency of the Colorado Internet Crimes Against Task Force that a variety of names of their local law enforcement officers have been used in these sextortion cases. The ICAC Task Force is comprised of around 98 affiliate law enforcement agencies from across the state, including agents from some federal agencies.
According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children since 2016 the organization's CyberTipline has received 262,573 reports of online enticement, a metric that includes sextortion. Between 2019 and 2021 reports of sextortion more than doubled.
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