An education ministry poster warns that “Max” is 12 years old in his online profile, but 45 years old in real life. Image credit: men.public.lu (PDF)
The government has started new campaign aimed at protecting children from cybercrime, and “grooming” in particular.
Grooming is the practice by which an adult pretends to be child on the internet, trying to gain the trust of young people to eventually exploit them sexually or financially, Ministry of National Education, Childhood and Youth said in a press release on 6 December.
The people behind these fake profiles solicit children for sexually explicit photos, extort them for money with said pictures or request real life meetings in order to further abuse them.
Children use the internet from an increasingly young age due to the wider availability of tablets and smartphones. This prompted the ministry to launch the campaign in question.
An instructive notice, drawing attention to the dangers of grooming, will be displayed in places with target audiences such as schools, youth clubs, police stations and hospitals. The posters encourage communication between children and parents and refer parents and professionals to the ministry’s website where they can find more information and guidelines on how to keep children safe and where to report incidents.
A video aims to increase the campaign’s visibility on social media: