Child Abductors Potentially Using Social Media or Social Networks to Lure Victims In Lieu of an In-Person Ruse | #childabductors

The FBI warns the public of the potential threat of individuals posing as minors on popular social media or social networks to lure victims in lieu of immediate, inperson ruse with the intent to abduct. Due to COVID-19 related school closures, minors likely will be at greater risk for encountering offenders online as they seek to occupy their free time with increased social media use.

DEFINITION

The FBI defines child abduction as the unexplained disappearance of a minor, especially very young minors (generally, any child under 12). Additionally, the FBI defines “social media” as websites and mobile applications that allow users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. “Social networks” however, are defined as websites and mobile applications used to interact with other users or to find people with similar interests.

METHODOLOGY

While criminals exploit social media and social networks to commit crimes involving child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking of a minor, and child sex tourism, the use of these platforms to facilitate child abductions is lesser known.


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