NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) — The FBI is warning the public of people creating content, or “deepfakes,” by manipulating photographs or videos to target victims.

The FBI has received reports from victims, including minors, whose photos or videos were altered into explicit content. The photos and videos are then circulated on social media or pornographic websites for the purpose of harassing victims or sextortion schemes.

Sextortion involves coercing victims into providing sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves, then threatening to share them publicly or with the victim’s family and friends. Manipulated photos or videos have been used to extort victims for ransom or other demands.

The FBI observed an increase in sextortion victims reporting the use of fake images or videos created from content posted on their social media sites, provided upon request or captured during video chats.

Based on recent victim reporting, typical demands are either payment (e.g., money, gift cards) with threats to share the images or videos with family members or friends if money was not received; or that the victim send genuine sexually-themed images or videos.

The FBI has urged the public to exercise caution when posting or direct messaging personal photos, videos and identifying information on social media, dating apps and other online sites. Parents should monitor children’s online activity and discuss risks associated with sharing personal content.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides a free service known as Take It Down, which could help victims who have possession of an image or video file remove or stop the online sharing of nude, partially nude or sexually explicit content that was taken while under 18 years old. For more information, visit

If you believe you are the victim of a crime using these types of tactics, retain all information regarding the incident (e.g., usernames, email addresses, websites or names of platforms used for communication, photos, videos, etc.) and immediately report it to: