Monday 20 November 2017

Paedophiles 'pose online as chicken nuggets and ice-cream' to befriend children

Chicken nuggets
Chicken nuggets

Gordon Deegan

Paedophiles are now setting up fake accounts online pretending to be snack food companies or community groups in order to lure children.

For years, groomers have been known to pose as youngsters online in order to gain the trust of children. But an expert warns that sex offenders have "new and novel ways of gaining access to our children's information".

Forensic psychologist Dr Maureen Griffin said that fake accounts were a big issue.

"At primary school level, I have dealt with accounts set up pretending to be chicken nuggets and ice-cream in order to friend children," Dr Griffin said.

She gave one "horrific" example where a sex offender took advantage of community trust. He set up a fake account posing as a group for the road on which a girls' school was located.

"Over 400 girls at the school accepted the road as a friend. The owner of the account was a known, convicted sex offender who made no effort to contact the girls. He collected their photos, pictures from teenage discos, girls' sleepovers and selfies."

Irish Independent

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