The FBI is calling teen sextortion a trending crime that is further on the rise and yes, it is happening in the Uintah Basin. Just last fall the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office urged parents to get educated and talk to their children as local students were receiving text messages from random numbers that led to cases of teen sextortion. In 2017, the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office made a similar announcement, warning parents that average kids whose parents would never suspect were using cell phones and social media to exchange nude photos or sharing these photos online where they were being used to blackmail teens in the crime of sextortion. In the FBI’s announcement released on Friday, it shared that this crime has only continued to grow in Utah and that the cases they know of are the tip of the iceberg. In a scheme that has recently become more prevalent, the predator (posing as a young girl) uses deception and manipulation to convince a young male, usually 12 to 17 years old, to exchange sexually explicit photos or engage in explicit activity over video, which the predator then secretly records. The predator then attempts to extort the victim for money to prevent the video or photos from being posted online. Over the past year, law enforcement has received over 7,000 reports related to the online financial sextortion of minors resulting in at least 3,000 victims, primarily boys, and more than a dozen suicides. The Salt Lake City FBI is seeing this trend throughout the region and receives dozens of reports every month. They are urging youth to come forward. There are victim services available. Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or report it online at tips.fbi.gov. Parents and guardians are encouraged to talk to their youth. Information, resources, and conversation guides are available at fbi.gov/sextortion.