FBI hoping to identify victims connected to online child exploitation case | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with prosecutors in New York and Louisiana, said they are hoping to identify victims who are potentially linked to a child exploitation case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Stephen Andrew Cipkin is facing multiple charges in connection to the case, including the following:

  • Traveling to engage in illicit sexual activity
  • Production and receipt of child pornography
  • Possession of child pornography, under 18
  • Enticement of a minor, under 18

In a news release, prosecutors said Cipkin might also be known by several online usernames, such as:

  • sac8635
  • ArabellaC.
  • Human no-more
  • numb little bug
  • Swiffer1
  • @onlygoodguy
  • Ur_Perfect_Daddy

If you, your family member, or anyone that you know has had contact with this individual or any of the above-listed usernames while being tutored in Suffolk County, New York, or while using the online applications Snapchat, Pinterest, YesIChat, Y99, or Instagram between 2020 and 2023, and would like to report a crime, please contact the FBI via email at: [email protected],” according to the release.

Prosecutors said the scheme originated in 2022.

The FBI said the agency has seen “a huge increase” of sextortion cases involving children and teenagers, with criminals threatening minors so they send explicit images online.

Sextortion can start on any site, app, messaging platform, or game where people meet and communicate,” the FBI said. “In some cases, the first contact from the criminal will be a threat. The person may claim to already have a revealing picture or video of a child that will be shared if the victim does not send more pictures. More often, however, this crime starts when young people believe they are communicating with someone their own age who is interested in a relationship or with someone who is offering something of value.”

As soon as the predator has at least one image, they then say they will publish the photos or videos, as well as possibly threaten violence, as a way to to get the child or teen to send more images.

The shame, fear, and confusion children feel when they are caught in this cycle often prevents them from asking for help or reporting the abuse,” the FBI said. “Caregivers and young people should understand how the crime occurs and openly discuss online safety.”

In October, the FBI announced agents have also seen a “significant” spike in financial sextortion cases targeting minors.

A separate news release noted children who access the Internet through online gaming, gaming consoles, live streaming or video platforms, instant message apps, and social media are most vulnerable.

The FBI said victims are often boys between the ages of 14 to 17.

“Several young people have taken their own life based on the feelings of fear and shame that result from sextortion and subsequent financial targeting,” Donald Alway, who is the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, noted in the release. “Whether you’re a parent, guardian, educator, coach, or have some role in the life of a young person, please talk to them about this crime and how to avoid becoming a victim.”

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