Talk to Kids About These Tips to Stay Safe Online: How to Avoid Sextortion

(May Not Be Appropriate for Children)

In order to better understand how interactions between predators and young people unfold we spent time in popular chat rooms and online game forums with selective names. This post is the first of many showcasing “real life” examples of the threats, tricks, lures, fishing techniques and grooming tactics used by predators. Project Playbook reveals “Plays” the predators use, to help identify potentially dangerous people and situations, identify preventative measures, and how to handle situations. It is super easy to get help! 
We made up a user name to spend 30 minutes in a popular mainstream chat forum for teens. In less than one hour we received unsolicited messages from over 60 men. The nature of the messages ranged from false modeling job offers, to threats, vulgar propositions and more sophisticated grooming, luring and fishing techniques.

Download your own copy of Project Playbook for an in depth look at how to be ultra safe online! 

The false username”Sweetsara12″ was threatened in an attempt to gain intimate images, otherwise known as “Sextortion”. Below is the chat transcript and tips on how to avoid this.
Project Playbook used the name “Sweetsara12“. 

Sextortion Real Life Case Study

Tony: hi so here is the deal i have gotten ur ip address from here and im gonna use it to get ur real full address so you are gonna cam once and show me ur tits or i post ur full address everywhere
Sweetsara12: no plz don’t!

Tony: last chance or i post
Tony: cam and show me ur tits for a few and i go away or dont and i post

Sweetsara12: im telling my mom
Tony: last chance cam once or i move to child porn sites and post more well

Sweetsara12: plz dont your scaring me!!!!                                                         

Tony: cam once and i go away ur choice
Tony: but im posting till u do so the longer u take the more pervs see ur address

Sweetsara12: no!!! my mom is going to know
Sweetsara12: im telling her

Tony: lol ok im posting have fun
Tony: still posting
Tony: well

Julia: hey did you know some guy is posting ur address

     (NOTE: Julie is either the same user “Tony” OR is an accomplice)

Sweetsara12: no he isnt really is he??
Sweetsara12: what do i do????? where did you see my address?

Tony: posting more

Sweetsara12: someone just said someone is sharing my address is that u??? why are you doing this to me please leave me alone!

Tony: yep and im posting more
Tony: u had ur chance
Tony: i stop when u cam

wHAT GOT THis Attention?

1. Screen Name.


Your Screen Name is definitely your first line of defence!

Screen names should never reveal age, gender, or location and should never have language that could be seen as provocative. The screen name used here, Sweetsara12 breaks several of these rules.

What Was The Bully’s “Play”?

Using Threats: “Tony” attempted to intimidate “Sara” into sharing intimate images/video content with empty threats. Tony claimed to have obtained Sara’s IP address and was threatening to post her home address on the internet and child pornography sites and forums. First, IP addresses cannot be obtained by way of chatroom discussions. Users would have to visit a provided link or open a file shared by another user for any chance of this to happen. Even if an IP address was obtained it is not possible to find a home address from it (unless a police officer with a warrant got it from the ISP, or a sophisticated hacker). Warning: be weary of clicking on links people send you in chat rooms. 

Attempt to Add Credibility to the Threat: Tony logged out and then into another account under the name “Julie” (on the chat log we see he had logged out for the period where Julie was active). In other cases an accomplice may play the “Julie” role making it appear as though two separate users and validating the threat. The internet can be “smoke and mirrors”, rife with opportunities for trickery. Always remember anyone can be anyone, or anything, they want online. Creating multiple accounts or profiles is easy. As demonstrated in this real life scenario multiple accounts can be used to deceive and manipulate.


Dis-Engage: Do not respond. Since we are trained individuals, we were able to control the interaction. In real life, teach kids not to engage bullies, trolls or predatory behaviour on the internet.

Pleading/Reasoning: Never plead or try to reason with them. If the perpetrator has attempted to extort intimate images from someone they believe to be underage, this alone is a criminal and callous act! The transcript reveals that the predator was indifferent and possibly even enjoyed knowing that the victim is in distress. Pleading will have no effect, at worst it could make the situation worse by encouraging them.  STOP ALL CONTACT.

What You Should Do

Solution: Provocative words or phrases should be avoided at all time. “Sara” reveals  gender and “12” implies age. Screen names should always be vague and avoid revealing or implying this information, doing so will help you avoid the “wrong kind of attention” and stay safe.
Solution: Even if the threats are credible never comply. Do NOT engage or converse with them, block them and get help immediately!
Solution: Do not take things at face value online! If you find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable do not fall for the tricks, disengage, and seek help immediately!

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