Vulnerable children exploited online

3News 20 January 2014
More children are being blackmailed online into providing explicit images of themselves, internet safety watchdogs say.

The ‘sextortion’ is becoming increasingly common as online predators turn to new methods to extort pictures from children as young as eight.

Children affected in the scam are often left feeling too scared to ask for help, Netsafe executive director Martin Cocker told Fairfax.

“We see a pattern where a young person provides some pictures and the adult asks for something more risque – and more, and more until they say, ‘no’,” said Mr Cocker. “Then they say, ‘I’ll send those pictures out to your friends and people you don’t know if I don’t get what I want.”‘

Most of the offenders are based overseas, says Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, who is in charge of the Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand unit.