Paedophiles are feared to be approaching young hopefuls on Snapchat and Instagram, with promises of riches and full-time contracts
STAR youth footballers are being groomed online by paedophiles claiming to be agents.
Everton’s Adam Green – head of safeguarding at Goodison Park – said the pervs contact young hopefuls on social media with promises of riches and full-time contracts.
He said: “On Snapchat it just says a name like Ben at the top and the message says, ‘I’m from an agency representing players from Manchester and Liverpool, and we have offices in both places and we’ve been watching you with interest, following you, and we’re interested in signing you for this agency. Don’t tell your dad. Don’t tell your club.’
“The threat now is that paedophiles have migrated to Instagram and Snapchat.
“Whatever the next craze is the paedophiles will be there as soon as the children are.”
Two schoolboys came forward to club bosses who launched a probe and discovered dozens more messages had been sent to other teens.
Gangs are also posing as gorgeous single women online to lure naïve young players into swapping x-rated videos – before blackmailing them.
Talking about the rise in sextortion cases, he said: “There have been cases coming to court of academy footballers from all different clubs being told that they have to pay £50,000 if they don’t want their penis pictures sent all over the internet.”