Saturday, April 13, 2024

FBI Philadelphia Recognizes National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2024

The FBI in Philadelphia released the below information:

PHILADELPHIA—Thousands of children become victims of crimes – whether it’s through kidnappings, violent attacks, sexual abuse, or online predators. FBI Philadelphia joins our community in recognizing April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children (VCAC) program was developed to decrease the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation; to develop a nationwide investigative response to crimes against children; and to enhance the capabilities of state and local law enforcement investigators through programs, investigative assistance, and task force operations. FBI Philadelphia has a dedicated team of special agents, analysts, task force officers, and victim specialists working to combat crimes against children every day throughout our territory.

“Crimes against children are among the most heinous offenses we investigate” said Wayne A. Jacobs, special agent in charge of FBI Philadelphia. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain steadfast in our commitment to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who seek to victimize the most vulnerable among us.”

This National Child Abuse Prevention Month, FBI Philadelphia wants to bring attention to the crime of financially motivated sextortion. The FBI has seen a significant increase in financially motivated sextortion schemes targeting children via the Internet. From October 2021 to March 2023, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations received over 13,000 reports of online financial sextortion of minors. The sextortion involved at least 12,600 victims—primarily boys—and led to at least 20 suicides.

In the six-month period from October 2022 to March 2023, the FBI observed at least a 20% increase in reporting of financially motivated sextortion incidents involving minor victims compared to the same time period the previous year. Victims are typically males between the ages of 14 to 17, but any child can become a victim.

It’s important for victims to understand they are not alone. Children that feel threatened need to ask a trusted adult for help. Most children are afraid to tell their parents, teachers, or other trusted adults about their online activities, especially if the activities are inappropriate. It is also important for children to know they are not to blame.

If you believe you or a child you know is a victim of financial sextortion, you should:

  • NOT produce additional images
  • Immediately report the activity to law enforcement:
  • Contact your local police department or call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit to report it, or find your local FBI field office at
  • Contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or online at;
  • Save all material and correspondence for law enforcement review;
  • Tell law enforcement everything about the online encounters—it may be embarrassing, but it is necessary to find the offender.

Parents and guardians should talk to children about online predators, sextortion, and the motivations of those who entice children. The following measures may help educate and prevent children from becoming victims of financial sextortion:

  • Make children aware that anything done online may be available to others;
  • Make sure children’s apps and social networking sites’ privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible;
  • Tell children to report anyone who asks them to engage in sexually explicit activity online to a parent, caregiver, or law enforcement;
  • Parents and guardians should review and approve apps downloaded to smart phones and mobile devices and monitor or limit activity on those devices;
  • Ensure an adult is present and engaged when children communicate via webcam, or have the ability to review the children’s activity;
  • Discuss Internet safety with children before they engage in any online activity and maintain those discussions throughout their teenage years;
  • Use software monitoring apps to alert parents of harmful activity on their children’s mobile devices.

For more information about the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children program, please visit

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