TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The FBI has warned parents to closely monitor their children’s devices as cases of sextortion are on the rise in Texas.

Sextortion is when an adult poses as a minor to get a child to send them nude photos; that adult then demands money from that minor to prevent the explicit content from being released online.

“It is a scheme that the FBI and local law enforcement are seeing a dramatic increase in recent months or in the last 18 months probably,” said FBI special agent Grant Permenter.

The conversations will usually begin as seemingly innocent on gaming platforms like Roblox or Fortnight, but then it transitions into the perpetrator leading them to social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat.

“That minor believes that they are talking to someone their age. That’s part of the scheme that the subject is online purporting themselves to be a 13-year-old female and that young minor male is talking to them, they develop a relationship, maybe they think their boyfriend and girlfriend and that conversation evolves to a sexual nature,” said Permenter.

Permenter said they see more cases of young males being victimized than females but the scheme does go both ways as it relates to gender. The FBI encourages parents to monitor their kids’ devices no matter how much they may hate them for it.

“We see routinely that those conversations are had and parents are not aware that that child is active online or not aware of how prolific their child is with online chatting,” said Permenter.

For The Silent, a non-profit organization in Tyler deals with victims of these crimes and said they try to preach safe online practices to the youth.

“Unfortunately we can’t change the actions of other people. The 14-year-old girl can’t change the actions of this adult wanting to take advantage of her but she can affect the way she responds and the way she pays attention to her surroundings” said Taylor Burton, program director for For The Silent.

If anyone knows of any young people that may be exploited, they should contact their local FBI field office, call 1-800-CALL-FBI and or report it online at tips.fbi.gov.