Its a crime that could start in your own housea sexual encounter on the internet that snares your child and leads to extortion.

The FBI says kids are being induced to use smart phones or game consoles to produce sexual pictures of themselves. But then the people on the other end of that process, say, either pay me a lot of money or everyone will know what you’ve done.

FBI agents say the most common victims are boys 14 to 17 years old. They may think their new online friend is a cute girl. Usually its really a man, who talks the teen into sharing intimate pictures or videos. Then he drops the disguise, and turns to blackmailpay up or the pictures will circulate.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jon Edwards says agents in Tucson are seeing two to five cases per weekand thats just a sample of a dangerous, nationwide problem.

Throughout the country, I think there’s been about 20 suicides related to this type of scheme, where they don’t you know, this is a very serious topic, and they don’t feel like there’s an outlet or a way out, and they’ve taken their own lives.

As a victim specialist Joleen Heckman works to make sure victims get help before they turn to alcohol, drugs, or suicide.

They feel ashamed, they’re scared, they’re worried about their future, they’re worried about what their parents are going to say. They’re worried about what their friends, their family, and if it’s going to get out to their schools, how it’s going to affect their future.

The FBI wants kids and parents to be on guard against what agents are calling sextortion. Parents should watch what their kids do onlineand watch for trouble signs like being online more than usual and withdrawing from friends and family.