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. This is a broad category of online exploitation and includes sextortion, in which a child is being groomed to take sexually explicit images and/or ultimately meet face-to-face with someone for sexual purposes, or to engage in a sexual conversation online or, in some instances, to sell/trade the child’s sexual images. This type of victimization takes place across every platform; social media, messaging apps, gaming platforms, etc.
The most common tactics used to entice children seem to be engaging in sexual conversation/role playing, and asking the child for sexually explicit images of themselves or mutually sharing images. While certain online behaviors may increase the risk for victimization, including lying about being older in order to access certain platforms and sending explicit photos or videos (known as “sexts”) of oneself to another user.
The goals of online enticement vary, but most commonly offenders seem to want to extort additional sexually explicit images from the child.
For more information on online enticement visit NCMEC’s Online Enticement page or download the Online Enticement Report.