Lots of child pornography and unlawful sexual intercourse cases arose from online games. 

Protect children from online sexual threats

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures and suspension of classes, many children and juveniles have relied on the Internet. Notably, some perpetrators took advantage of online games to induce underage girls to send indecent photos or videos. Some common networking apps were used to lure underage girls to have sexual intercourse or other unlawful activities. What’s more, a number of young boys were asked to send naked photos when making acquaintances on the Internet. During 2020 and 2021, the number of child pornography, unlawful sexual intercourse and online naked chat blackmail cases relating to Internet increased significantly when compared to the times before the pandemic.

Child pornography

Lots of child pornography and unlawful sexual intercourse cases arose from online games. These games usually encourage players to have interactive activities such as game captures sharing, forming teams, in order to seize upgraded weapons or skins. Below show how perpetrators approach the victims:

Unlawful sexual intercourse

Besides, the perpetrator will use social networking media and apps to gather child pornography and induce underage girls to have unlawful sexual intercourse as many teenage girls like meeting friends or even boyfriend on the social networking media. This is how the crime happens:

Due to the social distancing measures under the pandemic, their dating venues tend to be rather hidden, such as hourly hotels or the perpetrators’ homes. After receiving the victim’s naked photos, they will continue to use these photos to blackmail for more, or request the victim pay for the naked photos. The fraudsters may even take the chance to sexual assault the victim when they go out on a date.

Naked Chat Blackmail

Apart from underage girls, young boys may also become the victims of sexual assaults. Before the pandemic, most victims of naked chat blackmail were male adults. Below show how perpetrators approach the victims:

The fraudsters will request the victim to pay in remittance, Bitcoin or gift cards / point cards. If the victim refuses, the fraudsters will use their chat history or naked photos or videos provided to blackmail the victim.

The victim’s state of mind

Why so many youngers fell victims? Police clinical psychologist interviewed with the victims and concluded the following victim’s state of mind.

Tips to parents, teachers and social workers

Parents, teachers or social workers should remind their children and students:

Cultivating good online habits for your children

Make good use of filtering/ parenting functions

Parents should make good use of privacy setting and filtering function of computers and mobile phones. All operating systems of mobile phones or tablets, explorers, social platforms or instant messaging software have filtering and parenting functions to protect children from objectionable information and contact by strangers.

Conclusion

In the ever-changing digital age, children and teenagers are inevitably easier to fall into different cyber traps and exposure to objectionable materials. We must develop the digital literacy and care about the physical and mental health of our next generation.

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