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Cyberpredators are always looking for vulnerable people in this massive pool of web surfers. They look for people who need attention. They target chat rooms where they pretend to be teenagers too. Then they encourage people to take off their clothes in front of their webcams.

Some offer teens a chance to make some quick money, and before they know it, they are caught up in prostitution. This type of invitation is most likely to take place on cool-looking websites run by street gangs.

Here are some strategies that cyberpredators like to use:

  • Shower their potential victims with attention
  • Show affection and be nice
  • Try to seduce teens by offering presents, money, credit cards, etc.
  • Some use enticement and seduction and others are more direct and insistent
  • Try to distance the teen from his or her parents by saying things like "I understand...," "It's the same for me - my parents just don't understand me..."
  • Bring up conversations of a sexual nature
  • Send pornographic photos or videos or encourage the teen to look at adult or child pornography sites in order to trivialize sex and distort reality

In an attempt to meet teens, cyberpredators use all sorts of techniques to entice them away from their home, school or other safe places. They make all sorts of promises to get teens to meet them or use gifts or money as bait. 


Prevention tips

To avoid situations you are certain to regret, here are some ideas on how to protect yourself from cyberpredators

  • Protect your personal information: name, phone number, address, age, gender, name of your school and password
  • Be careful about the information you reveal in blogs
  • Don't post your photo online

Be careful about your virtual friends

  • Limit your contact list to friends you know personally
  • Be wary of discussions with strangers
  • Never accept gifts, money, etc.
  • Don't meet with someone in person who you only know online

If you decide to meet someone in person who you only know online:

  • Tell your parents or another adult you trust
  • Meet in a public place
  • Always go with a friend or parent

What to do?

Have you witnessed cyberexploitation?

If you come across sites that show the sexual exploitation of minors or recruit teens for juvenile prostitution, you can take action. Here's what to do:

Q. I use peer-to-peer file sharing software, and I recently downloaded a film that included child pornography images. What should I do?

A. Cases involving peer-to-peer technology are extremely difficult to investigate, but this is the information you need if you decide to alert the police:

  • Name of the downloaded file
  • User name (it appears in the user column)
  • Person's IP address (if available)

Q. I was surfing the net and I ended up on a child pornography site. What do I do?

A. Write down the exact address and send it to Cybertip. If you know about a child who is in immediate danger or risk, call 911.

Q. I suspect that some users in a chat room are involved in juvenile prostitution. How should I report this?

A. Try to get as much information as you can to relay to your local police department:

  • Nicknames
  • Email addresses
  • Comments
  • Details about their user profile

Find out more

Cybertip - Click here to report

To see some real cases of cyberexploitation, go to the RCMP's Internet 101 site, which has extensive information on the topic:

Internet 101