This week, U.S. officials announced they had charged a Bakersfield, Calif., man for sextortion of multiple females.

Authorities said the individual, 26-year-old Buster Hernandez, made cyber threats to his victims and produced child pornography. Using social media, Hernandez contacted the females through a private message and threatened to share sexually explicit images of them to family and friends if they declined to send him more pictures or videos of that nature. The victims ended up sending more photos to Hernandez, who went by the name “Brian Kil.” He opened up multiple Facebook accounts to hide his identity and location and posted multiple images of his victims.

Read: FBI Catches Sextortionist That Targeted Minors Through Video Booby Trap

The case involving Hernandez shows minors isolate themselves and end up complying to the demands of perpetrators. A June 2016 study by the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center and the nonprofit Thorn found one in three sextortion victims don’t tell anyone about the episode, citing shame, embarrassment and self-blame.

“Minors feel trapped for various reasons depending on their particular cultural identity and the nature of the content,” Scott Freeman, CEO of the nonprofit Cybersmile, which works on cyberbullying and other online issues, told International Business Times. “Cybersmile's experience of sextortion cases shows that minors are more likely to comply with sextortion demands if they do not feel comfortable in approaching their parents or carers to share the problem.”

Freeman said it’s important that parents explain to minors how the internet works, and that content can be recorded and can’t just be deleted afterwards. He emphasized the need of a trusting relationship between children and parents.

“It is important that children and teenagers know that they can approach their parents for advice or with problems without the fear of losing their internet privileges.” said Freeman. “Communication is the key to avoiding these situations.”

Freeman said cases of sextortion will continue to rise, as research shows more and more people are surfing the web at younger ages, and as video and live streaming platforms grow. To tackle the issue, schools could work to educate minors about cyberbullying and sextortion.

“We would like to see more education in schools addressing sextortion and its related issues,” he said. “We cannot assume all parents understand the problem at a high enough level to be able to teach their children how to deal with it -- often the children know more than the parents.”

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Like the case with Hernandez, many sextortion incidents take place on social media platforms.

“In an ideal world social media platforms would be able to prevent sextortion from happening but unfortunately where the combination of technology and young [and] vulnerable people exists there will always be people who exploit it,” said Freeman.

FBI documents show Facebook launched its own investigation regarding the sextortion incidents with Hernandez. The company also cooperated with law enforcement for the case. Facebook found multiple Brian Kil associated accounts were opened so he could make threats anonymously. The accounts were opened on a rolling basis replacing existing accounts as the platform shut them down, authorities said.

In April, Facebook announced it will use photo-matching technologies to curb perpetrators from posting intimate images, including revenge porn, on the platform, Instagram and Messenger.

The social media network also teamed up with safety organizations to offer resources and support to those affected by revenge porn.

“These tools, developed in partnership with safety experts, are one example of the potential technology has to help keep people safe,” Facebook said at the time. “We look forward to building on these tools and working with other companies to explore how they could be used across the industry.”

Sextortion Statistics

Last year, the FBI announced it saw a significant increase in online sextortion activity against minors, usually ages 10 to 17.

The 2016 study by the University of New Hampshire and Thorn was based on responses of 1,631 persons ages 18 to 25 that had been victims of sextortion.

The survey found most of the respondents were women, 83 percent, and nearly half of all those surveyed were 17 years or younger when the incident began. The victims usually knew the perpetrator in real life before the sextortion began, 60 percent, while 40 percent said they met them on the internet.

What did perpetrators want from victims during sextortions? More than half of all respondents said the attacker wanted more explicit images or videos, while 42 percent said the perpetrator wanted the victim to stay in or return to a relationship.

The study found sextortion wasn’t just isolated to one website or app, as 45 percent of victims surveyed said perpetrators used various platforms to reach them. The survey found 54 percent of respondents were extorted via social media platforms, making it the most commonly used form of communication.

Sextortion doesn’t end after the perpetrator leaves the victim alone. Out of all respondents, one in four said they saw saw a medical or mental health professional after the incident, while one in eight said they moved from their homes because they feared for their safety.