It’s very rare anymore that I find a good news article about online safety for children. Most just regurgitate the same things that should be common sense for most parents. However, this article from the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio is a great article that talks about a scam that a lot of predators and human traffickers use, the modeling scam.
In the article, it talks about a predator that was on Stickam that tried using the modeling scam before trying to blackmail a 16-year-old girl. I’ve given Stickam a lot of crap in the past but they have cleaned up their act a lot by eliminating private rooms.
Let’s get back to the modeling scam though. How it works is a predator or pimp will prey upon a teenage girl’s vanity by telling her that she’s pretty and that he can get her into modeling. It will start by them asking the girl for pictures in a bathing suit or her underwear then it will progress into requests for more explicit photos or videos. In some stories that I’ve posted girls have gotten on buses to see these ‘modeling agents’ and ended up being raped. Others have been turned out on to the streets for prostitution.
If I had a daughter that was in those vulnerable teenage years I would explain to her that the odds of becoming a high-end fashion model are Powerball winning odds and that legitimate modeling agents don’t troll social and webcam sites for teen models. Then I’d take the webcam out of her room if she had one.