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They may try to trick a young person into believing that they are trustworthy, that they are a friend or they may even pretend that they are the same age.
Many popular dating apps allow the user to share their location or chat to people in their area – this increases the potential for a ‘real-life’ meeting.
We know this is a tactic that many offenders use to gain the trust of a young person quickly.
It’s much harder for your child to think critically about someone if they’re inundated with ‘likes’ or compliments about how sexy or talented they are.
It’s also not as awkward to flirt with people online as it is in school corridors!
This is much safer and it’s a better way to build a friendship and possibly a relationship over time.
If they are being made to feel this way, they should tell you.
Make sure they know it’s important not to trust everything you hear online, no matter how nice or flattering it sounds! At CEOP, we’ve been told by offenders that another tactic they use is to look for young people who use a sexy username, post sexy pictures or talk about sex online.
Sexual communication with a child is a criminal offence.
Make sure your child knows that adults who want to talk about sex are doing something wrong and should be reported.