Portage Co. Crime Stoppers: Sexting, sextortion cases - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Portage Co. Crime Stoppers: Sexting, sextortion cases

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - An increasing number of sexting or sextortion cases have been reported to the Portage County Sheriff's Department.

"It is usually on a daily or weekly basis that we get sexting and sextortion complaints online of people being extorted. It usually involves teens or juveniles," Detective Travis Morgan said.

Sexual predators often friend children on social media sites and then groom them.

"They will listen to their problems and then ask for a revealing photo. The photos eventually will include partial nudity and when the child refuses to send more of them the predator threatens to send the photos they already have to the child's parents, family or friends," Morgan said.

Morgan advises parents be aware of how their teens and tweens use media devices, such as cell phones.

"The best advice I can give parents is to be aware of what pictures your children are looking at, what social networking sites they use and the friends they are picking," Morgan said. "They should only have family and friends they have personally met as online friends."

Online experts suggest that you regularly check your child's social media accounts, such as Facebook, have their passwords and do some snooping.

For more tips Morgan suggests these sites offer guidelines: www.doj.state.wi.us   www.protectkidsonline.wi.gov  www.commonsensemedia.org                                                                            

Portage Co. Crime Stoppers has a toll-free hotline at 1-888-346-6600.  You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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