If you’re a parent, teacher, mentor, aunt, uncle, cousin, or any other trusted figure to a pint-sized video gamer, it’s time to listen up! It seems that online predators are now taking different approaches to get to kids, with some using video games as hunting grounds.
Just this week, two dozen online predators were arrested in a sting that is unlike any that you’ve heard of. You see, in this particular sting, the New Jersey State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force shifted its focus off of traditional chat rooms and social media platforms and onto gaming networks.
In this sting, detectives were able to nab the predators from such popular, multi-player games as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Discord. Additionally, they also found some of these men on a handful of lesser-known social media platforms, such as Kik and Wishbone.
The New Jersey State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force posed as 14-15-year-old boys and girls participating on the platforms, and they ended up exchanging lewd messages with the grown men who were none the wiser. Eventually, the Task Force invited the predators to a home where they were later arrested.
New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, stated that among those arrested were a police officer, a nurse, a firefighter, college students, and a registered sex offender.
Very scary stuff. It’s really hard to keep track of the many social media platforms that are out there these days, but it’s important that we all do. Our kids’ safety depends on it!
To learn more about this online predator warning, be sure to watch the video below.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on this matter. Are you surprised to hear that these games and apps unknowingly host child predators? Has your child ever been solicited online? How do you keep your kids safe?