Father warning other parents of online predators
Police are warning parents to check their child's social media activity for strangers that may be reaching out to them.
Two families reported to police stories of their children being approached by online predators. In one case, one of the suspects pretended to be a child himself.
One father, Gary, read the exchange of Facebook messages his 11-year-old daughter had with a person she thought was a 16-year-old girl online. After becoming Facebook friends with the teenager, the girl convinced Gary's daughter she could be a model like her.
The stranger then started asking for photographs. Eventually, the requests included swimsuit photos and within days, the so-called teenage model asked the 11-year-old for some provocative pictures.
Gary and his wife learned their daughter's 16-year-old Facebook friend was really a grown man.
"When we first opened the Facebook page for her, we let her know about stuff like this," Gary said. "Nobody is going to go on Facebook and search out somebody for modeling, it's just not going to happen. That's a red flag. Going from just regular pictures to bathing suits and now underwear, that's a huge flag. The little girl's picture and stuff, it's real easy for her to believe that's what it is."
Investigators say the minute you suspect your child has been approached by a predator online or otherwise, contact your local police department's cyber unit.