Online Grooming and Online blackmail
Being online and making friends should be fun. However, not everyone is honest about who they really are it’s important to know what to do if someone or something makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Grooming is when someone builds your trust and makes a connection with you to get you to do something sexual or illegal. Grooming can happen to anyone, and it is never your fault.
Someone could be groomed by someone they know, by a stranger or by a person they met online. It could be someone that you thought was your partner or friend. That person could be older, the same age, or even someone who’s in a position of authority over you, like a teacher or sports coach.
It can be hard to recognise because groomers might seem friendly, fun and have the same interests as you. Often they will give you lots of attention, flirt and say they fancy you. Once they have your trust, they may trick, pressure or guilt you into sharing intimate sexual content – such as messages, nudes or videos.
Here are some things that groomers might do online:
If someone is threatening to share nudes or sexual images or videos of you and wants you to pay money to stop, then this is blackmail.
It is a crime to blackmail or threaten you in this way, and it’s wrong and can be very worrying. This type of behavior can be called ‘sextortion’ and it is more common among young people than you think.