(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity
(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

FBI warns of ‘group grooming’ tactics used by sexual predators targeting children | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco FBI field office is warning parents and educators about new “group grooming” tactics sexual predators are using to target children online, according to an FBI press release Thursday.

The FBI has uncovered evidence of child predators working in groups and posing as children in gaming forums, social media groups and other online spaces aimed at a young audience, the agency said. The groomers work together to pose as children and use each other to condone and normalize the exchange of sexually explicit materials within the group.

The children are often unaware that they are actually speaking with adults, and children may be more likely to trust individuals when they believe that other children in the group already know and trust the predator.

Online predators often use group tactics like these to find individual children who might be more vulnerable to other victimization techniques.

According to the FBI, online abusers have sent sexually explicit materials to groups of children to identify those who are most vulnerable to engaging with them in one-on-one communications. They may encourage children to engage in their first sexual experience with them online and frequently solicit sexually explicit things such as child sexual abuse material. Online predators may also seek ways to meet children in person for sexual abuse.

The FBI encourages anyone who believes a child they know may be a victim of exploitation to contact their local law enforcement agency or send a tip to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

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