Teacher cons 13-year-old girl into sending him explicit videos
Teacher, 47, posed as an accident victim and emotionally blackmailed this 13-year-old girl to expose herself in front of the camera.
In a disgusting turn of events, a 47-year-old ex-teacher catfished a 13-year-old girl into sending him explicit images and videos. According to the reports, he posed as an accident victim and asked her to send him photos and videos so as to make him feel better. But that is not it. He also stalked another girl and tried to get her to do the same thing.
How he did it
Using his own kids, he obtained the number of this young girl. He befriended her by posing as 'Sean Romeo', a victim of some sort of accident who was on the verge of depression. From February 2012 to December 2013, 'Sean Romeo' coaxed and cajoled this girl to send him explicit photos and videos to 'make him feel better in his difficult condition.' He even threatened suicide.
Falling for this emotional manipulation, she sent him 57 images and videos over nine months. She even tried to meet him but couldn't. He later asked her to provide the contact of her friends but the girl refused. She kept believing that she was in 'love' with this person, only to be used like this.
The predator tried his luck again
By 2015, the monster was in the pursuit of another girl, this time, a friend of his children. He kept on sending her texts, posing as a fellow Primary 6 boy. He even followed her. Her father got suspicious and approached the police. The teacher was later arrested.
This type of online emotional manipulation to get something in return is called as 'Catfishing.' In this case, the perpetrator was a paedophile, but this is also done to con single women who may fall for emotional manipulation. The purpose is money or voyeurism.
How do you shield your kids from Catfishing in the age of Social media? Read on to find out
Shielding our kids
Well, you may be thinking that your child is safe. He or she would not fall a prey to any of this nonsense. You may be wrong. Here is a video of Youtuber, Coby Persin, who, with the consent of the parents, catfished 3 different teenage girls, just to show them to be alert. In each instance, the parents would not believe that their girl would fall for that. But guess what? Each one did.
How easy was it to dupe girls? And how scary?
So, how do we shield our children from such online predators? Here is a 3 step plan
1# Educate the kids about catfishing
The best defence against this online predation is if your kids know that something like this exists. It is a big bad world. Sadly, it is very easy nowadays to pose as a gullible person. Here are 7 ways to spot a catfish.
- They are generally strangers, with no mutual friends.
- They will contact you without giving a good explanation about how they know you
- They will become friendly very fast
- They will never show their face on video chat
- They will generally have some issue: bad parents, accidents, handicap, or just financial strain
- Such people may tell you that they travel a lot. Later, they will get stuck in some place and ask you for monetary help
- They will never speak to you on phone
Let your kids know these traits.
2# Encourage them to tell you if someone takes interest in them
Create an environment where kids tell you things that are relevant. Here is an interesting read about a mum who teaches her kids that there are no 'secrets' in the house, only 'surprises.' She goes on to explain that this shields her kids from sexual abuse or predation of any sorts because according to her, "sexual predators count on the fact that the child will keep a secret."
If your kid tells you right away is someone has contacted him/her, you can monitor the situation closely. Encourage the kids to speak to strangers, but face to face and in your presence.
3# Don't overreact to what your kids do
When you overreact to something your kid does, he might just start keeping a secret. This is even more relevant in the teens when girls and boys get naturally rebellious. Puberty brings with it an impulse to be secretive. Tell your kids that they can have their own space. Just tell them to keep their online presence low-key and not to respond to someone online because the person might just be a predator.
Beyond the three steps
It is okay to be paranoid to a degree when it comes to our kids. That said, if you restrict your teenagers too much, you are heading towards trouble. Not all things are achieved by force. Educate them and empower them. Who knows, they might even help the police catch a bad guy!
About the ex-teacher, he was sentenced to 22 months of imprisonment. He is off the streets for now.