Dangers of online gaming and sexual predators
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Dangers of online gaming and sexual predators

October 10, 2019

this morning we are continuing the conversation about sexual predators and the techniques they use to try to lure your children and teenagers so last night at 5 o’clock we introduced you to this local grandmother who discovered her 16 year old granddaughter had met a man on the social media network meet me he turned out to be 27 years old living in Pennsylvania and in a matter of two months he had learned where the teen lives in Clay County where she attends school they also exchanged nude pictures of each other he has pleaded guilty to possession of child porn now the teens grandmother believes that he was grooming her and is just thankful that she was able to put a stop to their communication before he travelled to meet her this morning officer Chris Padgett with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is joining us to explain how predators are able to gain the trust of children and basically Chris talked them into doing things that they shouldn’t even though in the back of their mind their parent has probably told them hey don’t ever do this good morning to you thanks for being here so let’s start with grooming in case my our viewers have never heard this before what is that so grooming is simply the procedure that a lot of our criminals will use to gather information and it doesn’t start blatantly in your face it’s something that is slow it’s a process and they try to build and gain information simple conversation as to hey where do you live what’s the weather like where you’re at things of that nature and as an adult sometimes we think well that’s blatant but to a child it’s not because they just say well I live in Florida oh wow what part of Florida oh I live in Orange Park oh man that’s near Jacksonville right because the criminal can be googling the information they’re obtaining to sound like they know I’ve got grandparents who live in Jacksonville I’ve been to Orange Park and it just progresses from that point and before we know it our youth have given out information that’s detrimental to their safety without realizing that mom and dad told them don’t ever give out your address and they feel like they’ve never given the actual street address but they’ve really given that the person enough information to be able to track them down so let’s talk about you know we hear about social media and I think that that message has been pretty you know obvious to parents because I know that you talk to parents in schools all the time about Facebook and Instagram but what about these online game like fortnight because there is parents may not realize a chat feature there and if you’ve got that you know the mic on as we see our kids will use they can communicate mom and dad can’t necessarily even hear what their child is saying to that person right so as a parent you wouldn’t take your 10 year old child drop them off at the mall somewhere and leave them to go have conversations with strangers it’s that simple but we’ll let our kids get on online gaming and have open forum chat rooms where they’re talking to strangers and in fact they’re not just talking to strangers that may be at the mall they’re talking to strangers that could be anywhere in the entire world strangers who have ill intents and people who get on there too as we said groom our children to gather information it’s dangerous so it’s interesting my children play fort 9 we were having this family discussion after watching the story last night watching it with the kids and explaining that that what happens here is is that these predators know that most kids as an example playing fort night right now are probably between about 10 and 15 so they already have it’s like this pool of kids right in that age group that they’re looking for and not just that let’s be honest when our kids are playing these type of games they’re distracted because they’re trying to win they’re trying to concentrate right on moving up to the next level or whatever the goal is there so while that’s going on the criminal also knows that now I can groom them even easier because of the fact that they’re not going to be on high alert the way that they normally would be such a great point and also something I learned from in working of course with the Cyber Crimes Unit from Clay County for several weeks usernames you have to be careful of I mean I’ve taken a closer look at my children’s usernames because a lot of times kids put their name in the username which that person can see yeah it’s kind of like as an adult when we build an email address right as an adult you don’t put your name and your birthday as your user portion of that email address you’re not going to put your name in your birthday or social security the number there but our kids will do that on their usernames because they want to be identifiable and they’re giving away information without even realizing it so let’s talk about prevention I called it last night the four musts when it comes to parents in protecting to make sure that their child is not communicating unknowingly with a predator beginning with random audits of technology yes how many times can you say this and you hope that they you know you know as a parent a lot of times what we want to say is I trust my kid sometimes I feel like that’s a cop-out for us not to invest the time to audit their devices because let’s be honest for a moment it’s not easy you got to sit down I have three children my three children have smart phones and I have sat down and it’s taken me as long as three hours before to go through their pictures their messages their histories their phone log and all their social media stuff so to say it’s easy would be a lie that’s that’s an understatement it’s not easy but we have to invest in our children and auditing is so important apps as well looking at all the apps not just the post as you mentioned open the apps and see if your children have multiple usernames under the same out so if they have an Instagram account and so do you and your on that account go see if there’s a second one because sometimes our youth want to break away from their parents and they may build a separate username under that same out that you may not know as the adult and it’s interesting a lot of them have those pass codes on them too where you have to type it in collect those absolutely I can’t even emphasize that enough if you’re a parent and your child has a smartphone and you don’t have access to that telephone with the passcode then you need to reevaluate what you’re doing concerning your child safety and very quickly one of the things that stuck with me after interviewing at local grandmother she said you know you tell your kids you warn them you know you think they’re gonna do the right things as you mentioned and just like that a predator can just change their minds this is how manipulative these people can be and our kids are are sitting ducks they are you know even as adults we like to think we’re safe and look at how many adults are victimized look at how many people we have who are subject to fraudulent activity if we as adults who aren’t very trusting right and we look at people and say well they’re probably not trustworthy as adults we still get scammed now how much more is our youth subject to that because they tend to be more innocent and more trusting young and naive absolutely Chris Padgett from Clay County Sheriff’s Office thanks so much for such important information for our parents at home now as I mentioned I spent several weeks working with detectives with clay County’s Cyber Crimes Unit unit these are the guys that are investigating you know predators who are luring people out of their kids out of their homes child pornography cases valuable information that they taught us so that we could pass it along to you so you can better protect your kids so look for my story in case you missed it last night my i-team investigation catch a predator you can find it on news for Jax com

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  1. She sent the picture to him. Why isn't she committing a crime? Because of her age and she "doesn't know better"? In other types of crimes, she could be tried/convicted/sentenced as an adult.

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