Nine men have been arrested as a part of “Operation Turkey Shoot,” an online sting in Fort Bend, Texas. The Operation came about in response to the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. The teen told her parents that a man contacted her via social media and sexually assaulted her.
Operation Turkey Shoot was conducted with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). Five suspects were brought into custody for the possession and promotion of child pornography. Four suspects were accused of attempting to solicit minors for sex via social media.
During the operation, undercover officers posed online as teenagers, by logging into various social media sites frequented by minors. Detective Jarret Nethery, the operation’s lead investigator, stated that it wasn’t hard to lure the predators in once the bait was set.
Quick Tip to Keep Teens Safe Online
Parents should definitely be engaged or have a network in place to keep an eye on the social media movement of their child. Even if you don’t see suspicious behavior, you still want to have an open conversation about rules and expectations. It’s also a good idea to share some of the social media stories like this one with your child. The sharing of “real life” stories offers insight into what’s happening to “real people.” You also want to ask your child this simple question, which will provide for great dialogue: Has a stranger ever approached you online? If yes, what did you do? If no, what would you do?
Having conversations with your teens about online safety and social media responsibility, could be a life saving decision and you don’t have to be “technical” to do that.
Marlin Page, “Chief Technology Mommy,” serves as an Online Safety Evangelist exposing “real life” internet and social media stories impacting children around the world and providing practical tips to empower parents to keep their children safe on the Internet while encouraging teens to use social media responsibly. Marlin is a Globetrotting Speaker, Founder of Sisters Code, STEM Advocate, and thought leader on bridging the racial and gender gap in technology and eliminating the digital divide. Marlin’s book and music CD, “Always Believe,” empowers girls to love themselves, believe in themselves, and celebrate their uniqueness. Also known as the “Excuse Annihilator”, Marlin created the “No Excuses Movement” line of T-Shirts.
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