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Local mother, FBI warn of rising sextortion cases: How to keep your children safe

Sextortion leads to suicide
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 17:48:51-05

WACO, Texas — The FBI warns there has been an uptick in sextortion cases.

One local mother shared her story about how sextortion lead to her son's suicide.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan DeMay took his own life after suspects blackmailed him demanding $1,000 to take down nude photos of him.

Jordan only paid $300.

“The suspects told him to go ahead and kill yourself and if you don’t, I will make you do it," Jennifer Booda said.

Sextortion is the act of threatening to share explicit or nude images.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, these cases have spiked.

In 2022 Homeland Security received more than 3,000 sextortion tips.

Waco police say they’ve had reports of sextortion, and McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara says it’s a big issue.

He says, “It is a real problem, and it’s something these young kids fall into — don’t put nude pictures out there," he said.

The FBI has put out a new warning about the evolving online threat — they saw a 20 percent increase in a six-month period ending March 2023.

The offenders are primarily in West African countries like Nigeria.

“It’s hard to get a location on predators in Nigeria, and hard to do something to them," Sheriff McNamara said.

As for Jordan’s mother, she’s pleading with parents to talk to their children about the reality of sextortion.

“Keep those lines of communication open so they can come to you for help if they get themselves in a situation like this," she said.