Police have asked parents to speak to their children about online safety after a young boy in the Province was asked to send graphic photos of himself to a stranger in exchange for video game vouchers.
The PSNI received a report that a 12-year-old boy – whose location they would not specify – had been contacted by a stranger on Snapchat.
Using Snapchat – which is an application that can be installed on your mobile phone which allows people to share photos, video and text – the person began talking about the popular video game Fortnite with the boy.
In the course of the Snapchat conversation, the stranger asked the 12-year-old to send him pictures of himself in exchange for Fortnite vouchers.
Posting across a number of its Facebook sites, the PSNI issued the following online safety advice: “We recently had a report of a 12-year-old boy being added on Snapchat by a stranger.
“They spoke about the game Fortnite and after a while the kid was asked to send pictures of himself for which he would receive £500 in Fortnite vouchers.
“He was offered £100 for his face and more for more graphic images. One picture was sent, thankfully not of a graphic nature, and when more were requested he knew something wasn’t right and he stopped communicating.
“The young boy has since been threatened that he would be have his picture posted on Facebook if he did not continue.
“Folks, please please please be careful online. No one will give you money or vouchers if you send them pics. It simply will not happen. There is always an ulterior motive behind it and some creep on the other end looking to exploit you.
“To paraphrase an old phrase – if it’s too good to be true it usually is.
“Parents, it’s worthwhile looking into safe online practices and monitoring your kids internet usage and time to ensure they are safe.”