InvestigateTV - Season 2; Episode 25
(InvestigateTV) — This Week on InvestigateTV: Sextortion, a form of sexual assault, is on the rise, impacting youth across the nation. Scammers, often posing as peers, coerce victims to share explicit images and threaten to make them public unless given something, like money or gifts. The problem is challenging to prosecute due to involvement from international criminals, and various agencies’ reported cases differ significantly, highlighting the need for uniform protective laws and resources. Caresse Jackman takes an in-depth look into this emerging cybercrime. WHERE TO WATCH ICYMI – Watch last week’s episode.
Sextortion Part 1: It’s a new form of sexual assault and experts tell us it’s impacting our nation’s youth. The crime is called Sextortion, or the act of threatening to share nude or explicit images unless the victim gives the person something – often money or gift cards. According to the Department of Homeland Security, cases affecting young children, teens and adults have increased exponentially in the past two years. In fact, Homeland Security Investigations received over 3,000 sextortion tips in fiscal year 2022. Typically, the scammers pose as a person the same age who wants to start a relationship or is offering something free in exchange. The scammer may claim to already have an incriminating photo or video, or, may record the victim without their knowledge. The scammer then threatens to share the images online unless they provide payment. In this story we look the problem taking hold across the nation, speak to the FBI and Homeland Security about the difficulties with catching/prosecuting these cases that often have international criminals behind them – and talk to a woman who was a victim.
Sextortion Part 2: Multiple agencies have reported zero sextortion cases when we asked for numbers, which other task forces say cannot possibly be true. The Seattle area task force is giving InvestigateTV access to their investigations unit to show how detectives work on these complicated cyber cases online. We dive into the practical issue that not all states have the same protective laws or resources to handle these types of cases. In this story, we also speak to a father whose teenage son killed himself after being a victim of sextortion about the importance of investigating these cases – and keeping up with them. Plus – we look at a federal proposal to crack down on sextortion.
Jordan Demay’s Legacy: Sextortion suspects are rarely caught. Most are abroad, complicating jurisdictions and cyber trails. But this year there was a landmark case. FBI agents traveled to Nigeria and worked with law enforcement there to make three arrests. Those men now face extradition, charged with the death of 17-year-old Jordan Demay in Marquette, Michigan. Elizabeth Peterson spoke with Jordan’s mother around what would have been his 19th birthday.
Watching Your Wallet – Identity Theft: If you’ve struggled to tell the difference between a scam and a legitimate company, you’re not alone. Experts say identity thieves are using advanced techniques to convince people to share their personal information. In this Watching Your Wallet, Consumer Investigator Caresse Jackman shares key findings from a recent Identity Theft Resource Center report and what you should do to protect your information.
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