Australian Federal Police say predators are tricking children into sending sexual images by offering cash and food – World News

Australian Federal Police say predators are tricking children into sending sexual images by offering cash and food

Online predators are tricking children into sending explicit pictures and police have issued an immediate warning about how criminals are doing it.

Online predators are tricking children into sending nude or sexual images by offering them cash and food, and officials fear the dreaded problem could escalate during the holiday period.

The Australian Federal Police issued an urgent warning on Monday after receiving an increase in the number of reports about children self-producing child abuse material asking for financial incentives.

They fear the school holiday period will lead to an increase in reports as children spend more time online.

AFP said online criminals commonly used “emotionally coercive tactics” to exploit children into self-produced explicit material.

But there has been an increase in cases where young teens are being offered incentives such as money, food delivery and vouchers.

In some cases, children under the age of 10 are being targeted with predators offering in-game currency on popular online games.

Commander Hilda Sirek said criminals were targeting children via social media and warned that once an image is out “it could end up anywhere”.

“Some of the most corrupt dark web child abuse forums in the world are involved because criminals often circulate images among themselves,” she said.

“We also know that criminal networks routinely trade information about particular users of social media who are susceptible to incentive or coercion, which will lead to repeated contact requests from other predators.”

She said parents should pay attention to any telltale signs that their children may be victims such as unexplained food delivery, or having excess money in their children’s accounts.

“The start of the school holidays is the perfect time to sit down and talk to them about their online activities, including what they are interacting with online and with whom,” Commander Sirek said.

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