Internet sexual predators: their traits and manipulation strategies

Between 1915 and 1919, a Frenchman named Henri Désiré Landru murdered at least eleven women, although police estimated the actual number of his victims to be over a hundred.

Taking advantage of the effects of war, he advertised in newspapers in which he presented himself as a well-placed man that he sought to know a widow, and, after meeting his victims, made them disappear, remaining with his fortune.

Today, this way of attracting victims through the media has been refined with the advent of the Internet. The network of networks allows you to have a number of resources which make a trap that can appear to be an opportunity in which the danger is surprisingly camouflaged.

But … What characteristics define predators? How do they work?

The profile of the digital predator

The people who set up traps on the Internet to stay with people and kill or mistreat them are mostly males between the ages of 18 and 60. Beyond this physical description, however, there are a multitude of psychological traits and skills which explain how they act to extend the trap. They are as follows:

1. They are very good at detecting vulnerabilities

The masking offered by the anonymity of the Internet makes it surprisingly easy to know the details of the victims which can be used to understand their vulnerabilities.

On the one hand, social networks offer the possibility of knowing a significant amount of information about a person: musical tastes, the most visited places, such as the circle of friends, etc.

On another side, not having a face-to-face dialogue with a person makes it easier to reveal intimate information, Among other things because you lose the fear of seeing how the interlocutor reacts uncomfortably.

These two factors allow the digital predator to harness their skills by delivering a personal image that is a perfect match for what the other person is looking for or wants to know. Getting it right is easier if there are common tastes, if you claim to have had similar experiences, etc.

In other words, these people are very good at reading between the lines and imagining what are the vulnerabilities through which the other person can be made to act in a predictable way.

2. They act alone

The ability to act on the Internet means that sexual predators don’t need anyone’s help to weave their plan; if they want, they can pretend to be two people at the same time to further influence the victim, using fake user profiles. When setting the trap, their efforts are fundamentally intellectual, and in this regard they are self-sufficient and very methodical.

3. They know how to use advertising resources

Digital predators are able to design ads that are particularly appealing to the victim profile you want to attract. They use messages that they capture the attention in the moment and they convey a clear message, And place them in forums, apps to meet with specific people, virtual groups, etc.

Sometimes they can tailor the content of your post to what is known about a potential victim so that when posted to a group with a relatively small number of people, someone notices they’re interested in. If this attempt fails, you can edit your ad and run it again.

This way of attracting victims lowers the defenses of the other, because it enters into a psychological framework in which it is the victim who must “seduce” the predator, which gives him a great margin of maneuver.

4. The abuse of depersonalization

Depersonalization, which consists of perceiving others as objects, is one of the characteristics of people with a high level of psychopathy or narcissism, and in the case of digital predators is also very present.

The internet only reinforces this degree of depersonalization, which makes it the potential feeling of guilt, already very weak in psychopaths, disappears almost completely.

The digital media predator enjoys both the options of covering up their identity with a fake user profile and the benefits of not having to interact face-to-face with the other person until the trap has already been extended. and “there is no turning back”.

5. Set long-term goals

In cases where the trap is not an advertisement, sexual predators seeking victims via the Internet are able to set a long-term goal so that time to stay seems a natural step and with fewer implications. .

It’s now relatively normal to have constant contact with people you don’t know in person, so these types of traps are disguised. At first it can be a shame to have a conversation and after a few weeks start to talk. This is done because in this way, by the time the dialogue has started, the victim has already started to get used to the (virtual, for the moment) presence of the other.

Contrary to popular belief, sexual predators they should not be clearly impulsive, and in fact this one is penalized; in the case of those acting through the internet, your plan must have a series of intermediate steps in place to work.

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