JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned Mississippi parents and children about online sextortion.

Agents said sextortion can start on any website, app, messaging platform or game where users can communicate back and forth.

According to the FBI, the perpetrator may create a fake profile pretending to be someone familiar or to build a trusting relationship before coercing or threatening teens to send sexually explicit photos.

Once the criminals receive the material, they threaten the victim to send money, gift cards or more images.

“This becomes a very significant challenge for us because those who are exposed to this or threatened by this are embarrassed. And through that embarrassment, they’re very likely to either go with it, with the victimization,” explained FBI Special Agent Jermicha Fomby.

Male teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 are the highest percentage of victims. The FBI encourages parents to have a discussion with their children to create a safe space, so they do not feel embarrassed to ask for help.