Online Grooming and Luring

Human Trafficking Awareness Day Feb 22, 2023

Online luring or grooming is when a person uses technology such as social media, gaming sites and/or chat rooms to convince children and youth to participate in sexual actions they do not want to do.

What does luring and grooming look like?

  • Predators may present themselves to you as a friend from school, a friend of a friend or someone you met through extracurricular activities.
  • They may use flattery and compliments to get you to warm up to them. Alternately, they may use intimidation, harassment and threats to control your interaction with them.
  • They may promise gifts like a new phone, tablet, money, drugs or alcohol.
  • They may empathize with a vulnerability you shared online, like a struggle you’re having at home, to build trust and comfort
  • They may exchange inappropriate pictures with you as a way to convince you to send inappropriate pictures or videos in return. This may lead to blackmail like threatening to send inappropriate pictures to family and friends if you don’t do what they say.

What to do if you think you’re being lured

  • Reach out to a trusted adult
  • If you need help right away, call 9-1-1
  • To report sex trafficking and get help, call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline 1-833-900-1010 or visit

Online safety tips

  1. Check friend requests and group invites before accepting them. Check if you have friends in common and don’t feel pressured to accept them.
  2. Do not share any personal information with anyone you have only interacted with online.
  3. Avoid posting information that may suggest problems or issues at home or school as the predator may use it to take advantage of your feelings and the situation.
  4. If someone online is offering you something too good to be true – like money or a new phone – it probably is. Reach out to a trusted adult.
  5. Never share your location or meet up with anyone you met online without first discussing it with a trusted adult.


Signs that someone is being sex trafficked or sexually exploited
Online Luring – why teens are vulnerable and how to talk to youth about it
Online grooming: what it is and how to protect yourself