Roosevelt High school, (CA) participated in an anti-bullying event, hosted by Safe Surifn’ Foundation under the leader ship of Monica Pinedo, Director of West Coast.
Federal officials and advocates say online sex-related extortion against children is growing, and they are urging educators and parents to help raise awareness at back-to-school events.
They say they see a rise in “sextortion,” which often involves adults posing as someone younger on social media to get minors to send them inappropriate photos or video. Offenders typically threaten to post the images they obtain — or send them to others — unless they are sent more explicit images.
“It’s not uncommon,” said Michelle DeLaune, chief operating officer at the nonprofit National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, based in Alexandria. “It’s something that we see every day, and it’s something that’s concerning because it can inflict a tremendous amount of damage on a child.”
DeLaune’s organization and the Justice Department recently released a public service announcement showing a teenage girl blackmailed into providing explicit images by an older offender who pretends to be someone she knows.
FBI officials say offenders often approach children and teenagers — typically ages 10 to 17 — on social-networking sites but then persuade them to move to anonymous messaging apps or video chats.
“They look to transition them to a more secluded form of communication,” said Ray Duncan, assistant special agent in charge in the criminal division of the FBI’s Washington field office.
Increasing reports of sextortion led the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to conduct a recent study of 800 sextortion cases, finding that 78 percent of the victims were girls, with an average age of 15, DeLaune said.
In 6 percent of cases examined, the offender threatened to distribute the images if the child did not meet them in person.
“The threat and the impact of these situations is significant,” DeLaune said. “The children find themselves in situations they don’t know how to get out of.”
FBI officials say there is no reliable data reflecting the full extent of the phenomenon, but they have seen an increase of sextortion against children in recent years and are working with state and local authorities to improve awareness. The crime is underreported, they say, because many victims are too embarrassed to come forward or fear being charged with child pornography.
An FBI report this year that included a survey of law enforcement officials and others involved in child exploitation cases found sextortion was “by far the most significantly growing threat to children, with more than 60 percent of survey respondents indicating this type of online enticement of minors was increasing.”
Duncan noted that a 2015 analysis of 43 sextortion cases with child victims found suicides or attempted suicides in at least 28 percent of the cases examined. “It can exact a pretty large psychological toll on the kids,” he said.
Sextortion is part of a broader problem of online sexual exploitation. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says that in the past 18 years, its CyberTipline, a national hotline, has fielded more than 90,000 reports of alleged instances in which an individual has attempted to groom or lure a child for sexual purposes during online communication.
In Maryland, a recent case pointed to potential dangers for teenagers who meet adults through social media. A 14-year-old girl met a man she knew as “Jay” through social media and agreed to meet him after a week of communicating, according to court documents.
On Aug. 20, the man allegedly picked her up near her home in Anne Arundel County and drove her to his home, 45 minutes away in Montgomery County, court documents say. The man, Onaje Robinson, 42, allegedly turned on a Netflix movie and had sexual intercourse with her, according to the court filings.
The girl described the sex as non-consensual and said Robinson used a stick to hit her during the encounter, the documents say. Robinson, an assistant girls’ track coach at Seneca Valley High School, faces sex offense and assault charges. He told authorities the sex was consensual and that he thought she was 20, court records state.
Robinson turned himself in last week, and was released on a $10,000 bond, court records state. He could not be reached for comment.
Federal officials listed tips they said could help prevent sextortion:
●Making children aware that anything they share online may be viewed and used by others.
●Ensuring children’s apps and social-networking sites’ privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible.
●Reviewing all apps downloaded to smartphones and mobile devices and monitoring activity on those devices.
●Reviewing “friends” and “followers” lists to delete those a child has not met in person.
●Ensuring that anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online is reported to a parent, guardian or law enforcement official promptly.
DeLaune added another bit of advice: “We encourage adults to create an environment where a child would feel comfortable coming to them if they find themselves in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or afraid.”
Safe Surfin’ West Coast Director, Monica Pinedo, presented an Internet safety presentation to the St. Genevieve High School, in Panorama City, CA. Over 900 parents and students attended. Monica recently joined the SSF Team and is already making huge strides on the West Coast, raising awareness on the dangers lurking online, as well as, providing educational information and materials for all ages!
Louisa, VA – On July 28 2016, the Women of the Moose of the Louisa Chapter 1850 presented a lifesaving Ballistic vest to Officer Lynn Marshall of Louisa County. We are happy to announce that the vest was a perfect fit. It was heartwarming to see the gratitude and appreciation that Officer Marshall showed. To the members that helped this happen, thank you! It was a very happy moment!
Original Link Here: Viriginia Moose. Org
Billy Noah, Governor of Great Durham Moose Lodge #2045, NC, and Lodge members held an EZ Child ID Event at Freddy’s Restaurant in Durham in June. It is our hope to be able to expand this life-saving service to customers of Freddy’s all throughout the state of NC and throughout the US. Great job #2045!
December 6, 2015
Eddie Worth, Director of Marketing for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation helped ID 30 kids with the EZ ID kit! The kids had a great time and the parents were happy to receive the pertinent information on their children, all burned to a CD, for fast dissemination to police in the case of a child going missing.
A huge “THANK YOU” to the Clifton Forge Women Of The Moose in Clifton Forge, VA for their generous donation to the Safe Surfin’ Foundation! These ladies took time out of their busy days and baked up a load of goodies. Thank you to Covington Walmart that let them set up shop in front of the store to sell their tasty cakes and cookies!
Safe Surfin’ Foundation relies on donations to be able to send out Internet safety educational programs to schools, libraries and youth groups across the country at no cost to the recipient! From the entire Safe Surfin’ team, ‘Thank you, WOTM Clifton Forge!’
Congratulations of Lodge #2206, Somerville Tennessee, for yet another well organized child ID event at the 2015 Cotton Festival!
A Harrisville moose lodge committee works hard to protect its local police force.
Moose lodge members presented Harrisville, Pennsboro, and Ritchie County Police Departments with bullet-proof vests tonight.
Each vest is custom made for police officers to provide comfort and full movement.
Moose lodge committee members secured the vests for half of the price through the Safe Surfin’ foundation, an organization committed to protect against internet crime.
According to the lodge committee chairman, without the community, the project would have never been possible.
“There was a lot of people that put a lot of work into the event to make it happen,” said Jim Turner, chairman of the committee. “And when I asked the community for different donations and monetary donations from businesses and churches and civic organizations they were really great about stepping up to the plate.”
Although the Harrisville moose lodge has no plans to order more vests, police departments in West Virginia can use as many as they can get.
According to Turner, there are over 200,000 officers in this state that still do not have adequate bullet proof vests.