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Wenn es keine Liebe, sondern eine Lüge ist
NRW police warn against the loverboy method
Landeskriminalamt NRW
State Office of Criminal Investigation NRW

Loverboys pretend to be in a love relationship with their victims, make them emotionally dependent and then force them into prostitution. The State Office of Criminal Investigation and the 47 district police authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia warn against this criminal scam.

The perpetrators make contact with girls and young women in particular. They target their victims via social networks, in chats or in person. They use existing insecurities and the desire for a first love to establish a connection and build trust. Once the victims are emotionally dependent, the perpetrators put them under pressure with further lies and force them into prostitution. This type of sexual exploitation is part of human trafficking and is punishable under Section 232 of the German Criminal Code (StGB).

The perpetrator is always to blame

It is not possible to put an exact figure on how many people fall victim to the loverboy method. The police assume that many cases are not reported. The mostly young victims are unable to defend themselves against the oppression, live in isolation and have hardly any social contacts. In addition, they often blame themselves and do not seek help out of shame. However, the perpetrator is always to blame for the situation, never the victim.

Topic page with important information

The NRW police provide information on the topic page "Loverboys - prostitution instead of love" about the perfidious game with feelings and the associated dangers. In addition to information on the actions of the perpetrators, the site includes tips on prevention and contact points for those seeking help. In addition, the site refers to a short film by the Federal Criminal Police Office. The video shows that perpetrators are now increasingly looking for their victims on social networks.

Background: The "European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence" is an initiative of the Council of Europe. Since 2015, it has been held annually on November 18 under a selected motto. The NRW police participate with campaigns on social networks and through personal campaigns on site, for example in schools. The aim is to educate parents and young people about the methods used by perpetrators and to present suitable offers of help. This year, the participants are focusing on the topic of "human trafficking using the loverboy method".


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In urgent cases: Police emergency number 110