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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

NZ crim grooms north coast teens on Facebook

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facebook groomingMore than 300 north coast teenage girls and women have ‘befriended’ the manufactured Facebook account of a man wanted in New Zealand over charges of blackmail and sexual offences.

Tweed/Byron police say the man requested photographs of young girls online and also tried to arrange to meet some of them.

The account had false names, email addresses, photographs and content. The man was trying to trick users into believing that the account-holder was an attractive young man around their own age.

Police are encouraging young people not to accept every friend request online and be vigilant that there are people like this out there. They are also calling on young people to report matters of abuse and threats online.

Police identified the man after receiving information from school students at a recent cyber-crime lecture at a local high school. Based on the information students provided, police were able to track down the individual, who had recently returned to New Zealand.

Police are currently liaising with the New Zealand Child Protection Unit and the Australian Federal Police relating to this matter.

They are concerned with the number of young children under 13 (Facebook’s age limit) who are active and online, and encourage parents to take a more active and direct role in their children’s online activities.

For further information on Cyber Crime and awareness please visit www.cybersmart.gov.au.

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