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FBI warns child exploitation could increase due to school closures

The FBI is warning people that school closings due to COVID-19 could potentially increase child exploitation.

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The FBI is warning people that school closings could potentially increase child exploitation.

The agency warned parents, educators, caregivers and children Monday about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and child abuse due to disruptions connected to the novel coronavirus, which has created a pandemic affecting the globe.

The FBI noted people may coerce or gain the trust of kids, leading children to send or post sexual images or videos of themselves. Offenders may also try to meet with their victims.

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"In order for the victimization to stop, children typically have to come forward to someone they trust — typically a parent, teacher, caregiver, or law enforcement," the FBI said in a news release.

The agency also provided signs of online child exploitation and recommendations for families to keep kids safe, as well as information about how to report incidents.