Police investigating online predator targeting teenage boys

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Section
Crime,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 5:56AM
Police are investigating an online predator who posed as a teenage girl to lure boys as young as 13 into sending nude selfies online (iStock)

UPDATED 10.35AM Police are investigating an online predator who posed as a teenage girl to lure boys as young as 13 into sending nude selfies online.

The New Zealand Herald exclusive has revealed the imposter went by the name Ella, used a profile photo of a girl with long brown hair, and claimed to go to Christchurch Girls' High School.

LISTEN ABOVE: Netsafe's Martin Cocker spoke with Mike Hosking

After befriending and striking up conversations with students from other Christchurch schools, the imposter sent boys sexually explicit videos and photos.

The Herald is aware of at least two boys who sent nude photos back, when asked to reciprocate.

A police spokesperson says indications are the imposter is based in New Zealand.

Police say they're working to identify the person and are keen to hear from anyone with relevant information.

Facebook has shut down the imposter's account.

Netsafe's Martin Cocker told Mike Hosking they're trying to improve the Harmful Digital Communications Act in New Zealand to prevent this kind of exploitation.

But the best protection, is to not send the photos, he said.

Cocker said finding the culprit won't be easy, but will be traceable within our country. He expects the predator will be found with the cooperation of social media sites. 

Are you affected by an issue in this article? Here's where to get help:

Lifeline - 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. Text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email [email protected]

0800 WHATSUP (0800 9428 787), Open between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.

Healthline - 0800 611 116
For more information about support and services available to you, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service on 09 623 4812 during office hours or email [email protected]

Netsafe - 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723), www.theorb.org.nz

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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