NCMEC provides safety tips for teenagers on social media

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Nearly eight out of 10 teenagers chat on social media, including dating apps, a cyber survey shows.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the most common tactics use to entice children online are:

  • Engaging in sexual conversation/role-playing as a grooming method, rather than a goal
  • Asking the child for sexually explicit images of themselves or mutually sharing images
  • Developing a rapport through compliments, discussing shared interests or “liking” their online post, also known as grooming
  • Sending or offering sexually explicit images of themselves
  • Pretending to be younger
  • Offering an incentive such as a gift card, alcohol, drugs, lodging, transportation or food

Online enticement involves an individual communicating with someone “believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense or abduction.”

According to an NCMEC analysis, 98% of offenders are unknown to the child offline. The report also showed that most victims are female.

Last week, a 16-year-old Raynham girl, Colleen Weaver, went missing. Her mother said she believes her daughter may have met someone online who lured her to meet up with them.

A free program called, “NetSmartz,” provides parents, children and educators with resources about online safety.

Categories: News, Rhode Island