Don’t Fall for the Smooth Talk campaign raises awareness of safe online dating 

Studies* show that 49% of Gen Z have been a victim of sextortion catfishing crimes and 90% said that due to this they had to make changes to their everyday life and 74% said that it impacted their physical safety.

Body Proud is on a mission to encourage Gen Zs to enjoy cuffing season safely, proudly launching the Don’t Fall for the Smooth Talk campaign ahead of Cyber Security Awareness Month in October. The campaign aims to raise awareness of catfishing and safe online dating and educate Gen Z and #TEAMPROUD.

Body Proud will be proudly partnering with The Cyber Helpline, a charity and movement led by the cyber security community whose mission is to step in and close the gap in support for victims of cybercrime and online harm.

Using a unique system to harness the skills and expertise of the cyber security community to support and change lives by helping thousands of victims a month. With the helpline offering advice, support and online guides on their website, online chat bot and social media channels.

 Body Proud wants to champion the helpline and the important work they are doing for Gen Z and young people and bring their mission to the forefront of the conversation with our community and create a safe space. As studies* show that 89% of victims experience an impact on their mental health and 80% said it has impacted their online confidence.

To amplify the awareness, Body Proud have teamed up with the The Cyber Helpline to create a ‘Am I Falling For The Smooth Talk’ Catfishing Guide, that can be easily accessible and shared digitally by Gen Z to support them through cuffing season and beyond.

“When we think of online harm and cybercrime, many think of scams targeting older generations, but cybercriminals adapt to their targets. In a world where we live our lives online through social media, dating apps, gaming and even work, we, knowingly or unknowingly, share information that criminals can utilise to become the ‘perfect match’ for their target through fake online personas.

Catfishing can impact anyone; it can be part of several online harms, from harassment to sextortion, fraud, and scams. In fact, young adults are more likely than anyone to report being a victim of a crime or harm involving catfishing, and many won’t ever speak out due to shame and stigma, believing it’s something their peers will never experience.

The Cyber Helpline opens thousands of cases of crimes involving catfishing every year. Opening up the conversation around catfishing and the real impact it has on the lives of victims, their friends and families is vital – it is what encourages others to seek help and to speak out themselves. That is why The Cyber Helpline is delighted to partner with Body Proud to open up this critical discussion and to end the stigma around being a victim of catfishing”.

– Charlotte Hooper, Helpline Manager at The Cyber Helpline