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Oct 31, 2014
Child predators have found a variety of ways to lure children in many different places. A recent investigation in San Antonio found a child predator using an online dating service to target children. While using an online dating service to target children sounds unusual, it is becoming more common.
Dating service apps like Tinder and other websites offering dating services have become really popular among young adults. Most, if not all, of these dating apps require users to be at least 18 years old to participate. However, it is very easy to fake your age since there is no verification that you are 18 years old. This makes targeting children easy.
“Think of it like a directory,” says FBI Special Agent Rex Miller. “If you want to end up meeting somebody, if you can post yourself on a dating site, and then from there once someone hits you up and says, ‘I’d like to get to know you better or talk to you more,’ you can then point that person to ‘Hey, let’s meet up on text servicing site or social media.”
Another unlikely place child predators go to lure children is gaming systems. It is possible nowadays to connect with people all over the world to play video games and frequently users are required to play online to complete tasks in games. XBOX Live and the PlayStation Network are some of the more popular ways to connect on gaming systems.
With this ease of connection on gaming systems comes the danger of child predators. It is easy for a child predator to pose as another gamer and establish a connection with a child. After several games with a child, the predator could say “Hey, you’re good, let’s meet up and play together some time.”
Miller suggests staying up-to-date on the apps your children are installing on their phones by taking their phones every so often and checking them. Ask your children about the apps they have and do research on those apps. By staying informed, you can protect your children from child predators.