#childsafety | International child sex offenders posing online as girls to target Australian boys, AFP warns

Child sex offenders abroad are increasingly targeting Australian boys in sexual extortion schemes online in which the boys are groomed to produce child abuse material that is subsequently used to extort money, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have warned.

The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) said the number of reports involving boys had “more than quadrupled between mid-2021 and this year”, which appeared to be part of a global trend.

ACCCE Commander Hilda Sirec said while it was not new for children to be forced into creating sexually-explicit material, it was previously “very rare” for police to receive reports of offenders demanding money from them. 

“Tactics can vary, but child sex offenders commonly pose as girls and befriend boys via social media platforms, image-sharing apps or online games,” Commander Sirec said.

Once a connection had been formed, the boys would receive explicit images — purportedly of the new friend that were, in fact, police said, often obtained from another victim.

The boys were then told to send explicit photographs or videos in return.

The ABC has sought comment from the AFP on the numbers rise in 2022.

Posted , updated 

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