Gangs Groom Through Social Networks?

Jan 22, 2013

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Innocent girl on laptop

Gangs are getting into the human trafficking business and they’re using social networks to do it. Justin Strom, leader of the Virginia-based Underground Gangster Crips, was recently sentenced to 40 years in prison for participating in a sex trafficking ring. Strom and other gang members would find attractive young women on social networking sites, groom them, and force them into prostitution. They would talk to their victims under fake identities, compliment them, and convince them to share their cell phone numbers so they could meet them in person. They would give the girls alcohol or drugs and rape them. This was followed by threats of violence if they didn’t engage in commercial sex.

The actions of these gang members are horrible and sickening. Unfortunately, this situation is not the only one of its kind. Even though street gangs still traffic drugs, they are now becoming human traffickers as well. They can make a lot more money selling a girl repeatedly than they can with a drug that runs out.  It’s frightening and just one more reason we need heightened protection for children in today’s technological society.

Educate your kids about the dangers of online predators. It is not enough to just talk about stranger danger in the real world; it is now necessary to talk about it online as well. If your teen has a Facebook account, know who their friends are. There are more than a few people on Facebook willing to befriend young, gullible teens. Discuss the importance of only befriending people you or your teenager know in real life. Remind your teens to never meet someone in person that they met online. That charming online friend might just turn out to be a predator in disguise.

When you need a hand, Net Nanny can monitor your teen’s online activity and send you email alerts to help you catch things before they go too far. It can tell you when they get on social networking sites like Facebook. It can even record IM and chat conversations, so you can see what your teens are saying and to whom they’re talking. If something seems suspicious, talk to your teen about it.

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.