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Cyber Crime

To report possible victimization of children over the internet 1-800-TBI-FIND or Email TIPs to TBI



The TBI has become aware of an organized criminal enterprise that has been calling people both inside and outside Tennessee from a series of numbers in the 901 area code. The callers claim to be state law enforcement officers and use the threat of criminal prosecution to extort money from potential victims.

In some cases, the person called received a loan; in others, the call was random. An investigation has revealed that the calls are coming from outside the United States, so TBI cannot currently recover any money sent to this group.

IN ALL CASES, THESE CALLS ARE FRAUDULENT. TBI agents do not serve as debt collectors, and would always appear in person with proper identification before requesting a particular action.

The TBI Technical Services Unit is tasked with identifying, developing, and fielding advanced technologies in support of criminal investigations. TSU includes the TBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a Joint CyberCrime Task Force with the FBI, and TBI’s computer forensics component. The following information will explain what offenses we can help with and provide guidance and resources in areas where we cannot.

Victimization of Children over the Internet

Contact us immediately at 1-800-TBI-FIND or send an email to Tips to TBI if you have reason to believe a child is being victimized by means of the internet, a cell phone, or other electronic means of communication. These cases are our highest priority. It is not illegal for an adult to communicate with a child or even to declare themselves to be in love. However, it is illegal for an adult to send a naked picture of themselves to a child, or ask the child to do the same, or to ask the child to perform a sex act with them.

TSU will also handle allegations that a person of website is in possession of child pornography. Please keep in mind that there is a great deal of adult pornography on the internet marketed as “teens”…the pictures are often actually adult women made up to look young. While many might find this offensive, it is not illegal. If you do not personally know that the person depicted is a child, and it is not obvious from their development (much child pornography depicts pre-pubescent children), it may not be child pornography.


TBI does not have jurisdiction over financial crimes, harassment, or similar offenses without a request from the District Attorney General. Generally, local law enforcement is the best first step in such cases. Exceptions would be large organized scams run from within Tennessee; in such cases, the District Attorney General might request a TBI investigation.

Hacking/Malware/Computer Intrusion

If the person is known to you (a former friend, romantic partner, employee, or the like), and the financial loss is considerable, the District Attorney General may request a TBI investigation. Otherwise, contact your local law enforcement agency, and keep in mind that TSU is always available to assist a department that is new to online investigations.

If you simply had a virus infect your computer, you will need to contact customer support or one of the major antivirus vendors like Norton or McAfee.