(KMOV) -- News 4 learned of a disturbing report that kids are being targeted for sexual abuse online.

Child protection advocates say victims as young as eight are being blackmailed into performing sex acts in front of their computer web cameras.

Predators start by posing as teens to chat with child victims.

Within hours, the victim is lured into posing for sexual pictures. A day later, the offender blackmails the victim for more photos.

Once the offender's got that image of the child, and I'm talking about a naked image or an image of the child engaging in some sexual activity. Then the whole thing begins to spiral. And the offenders have a hold against the child. And that's when things get so much worse, said Stephanie McCourt a child protection advocate.

Some steps to keep your child protected include making sure your child doesn t chat online with people they don t know in the real world. And if someone does get hold of a compromising photo of a child, make sure the child tells someone who can help.

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