The warning every Australian parent must read: Sex predators have turned to popular app TikTok to blackmail kids into sending them vile videos
- There has been a damning increase in online child sex abuse during lockdown
- AFP arrested 161 predators and saved 134 children from abuse this year alone.
- Detective Sergeant Daisie Beckensall said grooming is popular on social media
- She said predators pretend they’re similar age as the child and build a friendship
- They then ask for sexualised images and blackmail the children if they stop
Sex predators are targeting young children on popular social media app TikTok and blackmailing them into sending nude images and videos.
There has been a damning increase in online child sex abuse particularly during lockdown as kids remain inside on their phones.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have already arrested 161 disgusting predators and saved 134 children from abuse this year alone.
Detective Sergeant Daisie Beckensall said grooming is popular on social media apps like TikTok and Facebook, including gaming sites.
Detective Sergeant Daisie Beckensall said grooming is popular on social media apps like TikTok and Facebook, including gaming sites (stock image)
She explained that before the grooming process, the stranger pretends to be the child’s friend before threatening to blackmail them.
‘We see a lot of friend requests from online predators looking for children to follow, and the children will usually follow them back,’ she told The Herald Sun.
‘They start chatting online – they build up a rapport with the child, it starts off as an innocent and friendly chat, then they ask, ”Send me a photo of yourself”.’
As the paedophiles pretend to be of similar age to the children they’re grooming, they also first ask for innocent photos.
Soon after, they become more demanding asking for sexualised images and threatening to tell the children’s parents if they stop sending photos.
‘Once the predators have the photos, they use them to manipulate and put fear into kids.’
She said paedophiles pretend to be the same age as the child they are talking to before grooming them (stock image)
Detective Beckensall also said another worrying trend was children posting naked photos and videos of themselves because they think it is ‘normal’ after seeing it online.
With some students still studying at home, they might not be privy to the ‘scrutiny’ as they would if at school.
She said it is important that parents tell their children to come forward if they are being bullied.
How to deal with unwanted contact
If someone is contacting your child and this contact is unwanted or makes them feel uncomfortable, here are some things you can do to help.
- Make their accounts private
- Delete contacts they don’t really know
- Report and block
- Delete requests from strangers
- Stay involved in your child’s digital world
- Help your child to protect their privacy
- Teach your child to be alert to signs of inappropriate contact
Source: Unwanted contact and grooming