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Stranger Danger Expert Gives Parents Warning Signs Of Online Sexual Predator Encounters.

Unlike predators who may attempt to abduct a child off the street, online predators are not always as easy to detect. Because of the anonymity internet predators can have it is often difficult to detect if your child is having contact with an online predator.

Stranger Danger expert, Rick Allen offers these 10 tips on how to detect if your child is in danger of a having contact with an online sexual predator. Here are some of the signs according to Allen:

1, Detachment is generally the first sign of a problem. If you begin to notice that your child is separating from the rest of the family or not wanting to eat meals with the rest of the family may indicate a developing problem. Not wanting to join in family activities that they enjoyed previously and avoiding contact with friends and activities at school, church or sports activities that they once participated but have now stopped indicate social detachment and possible problem. As a child grows, some rebellion is normal of course, however, sudden changes in daily routine can be a flag that something else may be causing the detachment.

2, A sexual predator will attempt to alter the victim’s perceptions by convincing them that family and friends cannot be trusted and that parents do not truly understand their needs or treat them as more grown up. The predator is very good at convincing the child that they are the only one who really understands their feelings and needs. The child is swayed to only confide and trust in the predator. This will place doubts about trusting friends and family members. The predator’s goal is to have the child only trusting in them.

3, Another flag is if your child starts getting gifts from someone unknown to you. The predator may try to separate the child from others by giving the child, often lavish gifts like electronic games, fashionable clothing, jewelry and other popular gifts the child wants, again convincing them that the parents do not care about them and their desires. This tactic almost always gets the child’s attention and sets the victim up for what is referred to in professional sales as “reciprocation”, such as a salesperson giving a complimentary upgrade. The sales psychology is that “I’ve given you something free, now you are obligated to give me something (time, money, favors), in exchange. The same psychology applies to the sexual predator, obligating, “favors” from the victim they are luring into an encounter.

4, Building trust is the key goal of the sexual predator with the child. Convincing the child that they (the predator), separating the child from family and friends and then arranging a meet, some predators will go as far as secretly sending a plane ticket so they can meet.

5, Observing a child abruptly changing to a different web site or screen, acting suspiciously after doing so if you unexpectedly enter the room is another sign that they may be hiding something or someone that they do not want you to know about. Parental control of online content helps protect against sexual predators being able to gain contact with your child. Most all internet browsers have parental control settings and suggestions.

6, Predators are getting smarter, as technology advances and will often have your child use a separate online account that the sexual predator controls, unknown to you, but is accessible by the child. Your child will use the separate, password protected account for contact to sexually charged content and to connect with the sex offender with the purpose of the predator hiding from you online. The FBI has detected online community’s setup by sexual predators solely for this purpose. The FBI tries it’s best to shut these sites down as quickly as they can, but new ones pop up to replace them daily and often are changed by the predator community as quickly. A predator may go as far as to secretly send the child a notebook or laptop computer for them to secretly contact them.

7, Disposable cell phones may be sent to the child for contact as well. These phones are popular because they are not easily traced. Unfortunately, as technology increases so do the means and methods of the online sexual predator increase. Be aware of any unknown phones and other Mobil devices that your child may have that you did not get for them. Question them if they say they found it, or a friend didn’t want it anymore.

8, The ultimate goal of gaining the trust of their victim by the predator is to generally meet with the child for a sexual encounter. Many predators will go to great extremes for this encounter to happen, sending plane tickets, money, even a private car and driver. Keep in mind that sexual predators can span any economic, ethnic, age and gender lines, they are not just dirty old men in raincoats, and they are not always men at all or working solo in their predatory efforts.

9, Another sign is noticing that your child is spending and the excessive amount of time online and particularly in chat rooms is another indication that something could be amiss. Sexual predators are looking for easy targets. Finding a child who is home after school alone is an ideal setup for easy contact and encounters. Limiting the amount of time a child is at home alone reduces the chances of them becoming a victim.

Parents, who are working, should arrange for the child to be involved in supervised activities such as well supervised community and after school programs. Children home alone can easily become bored and begin exploring chat rooms, gaming, and other sites online, even if they are using the computer for homework, they can get lured into a chat with a predator online.

10, In an attempt to get their victims to open up, sex predators may send explicit images. They will convince their victims that sexual relations between them and adults are actually a natural experience.

What can parents do if suspect that someone may be contacting your child for predatory or sexual purposes? If you find explicit, photos, emails or other materials that their child has in their possession or online that has been sent to them by someone who knows the viewer is under 18 years of age. Do not delete the materials, retain them along with any contact information, wed site URLs, IP addresses from the person. Secondly, immediately contact your local law enforcement agency, many agencies has specific divisions for this purpose or contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field/field-offices, about your suspicions. When contacting these agencies, remain calm, answer their questions and give as many details as possible.

 

After reporting the attempted encounter, follow the directions of the law enforcement agency. Do not attempt to contact the suspected predator and confront them in any manner. They are easily scared off and may cause them to run. Chances are they will move on to another child and begin the process all over again, most predators are very careful and are willing to wait it out, much light a spider waiting for its prey to land in its web. After reporting the attempted encounter, follow the directions of the law enforcement agency. Do not take matters into your own hands. The FBI and most law enforcement agencies have trained and skilled agents. The predator may be involved in a ring or active already investigation, your interference could put you not only in danger but hamper investigative efforts.

Do not feel like this is an embarrassment or will bring shame to your child or family, you and the child are the victims, not the perpetrator. Do not let them immediate you or your child, they are counting on you to be embarrassed and remain quite. If you, your child or other family members are facing mental or physical problems contact a local health agency for immediate help in coping with the personal invasion by the perpetrator of a sexual predatory crime.

 

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Resource box:

Rick Allen is currently writing his dissertation for his Ph.D. For the past 25 years, he has presented a widely acclaimed Stranger Danger Awareness Program, to schools and community organizations, based on guidelines of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Allen uses a combination, entertainment such as sleight of hand magic tricks and role play to present the program to children in a non-threatening memorable manner. To obtain more information on Rick Allen, visit, http://www.strangerdangerprogram.com. This article may be freely published as long as resource box and author (Rick Allen, B.Msc.) are keep intact and not changed. We would also appreciate a quick email,rickallen@strangerdangerprogram.com, alerting us where the article is used.

This article has not been endorsed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is solely the opinion of the author.

Curious Pre-tweens Make Ideal Targets For Online Predators.

As children grow older, they naturally want to know more. With the Internet, this is easier than most parents think. All it takes is a few keystrokes, and they have come on the website of their choice. The internet like so many things can have a positive aspect, but unfortunately, it has it’s dark side as well.

Even with parental preventive measures to limit the roads that can lead to a darker, far less healthy side of the internet, children do find ways to explore those areas. For many children and even adults the internet has become a fast and easy way to expand their social outreach. The days of pen pals and waiting weeks to often get a reply back from some friend thousands of miles away, has been shorted to a microsecond with the internet. Rather than children exploring new things the old fashioned way, they can simply go online and discover the world.

Most social sites are free to the user and the background check of its users is minimal or nonexistent. by most. Even if a child does find a child-friendly website, most of them also have chat rooms, that they can access and meet new found friends or communicate with old ones.

Often while they are alone, the curious nature of children kicks in and they sneak online so they can make new friends. These are people they have never actually met, down the road, they begin to feel comfortable talking to these new friends. They soon discover that the new friend is a lot like them and they share a lot of the same interest and curiosities.

This is when the path can turn, and the easy access of the Internets dark side emerges. “Seldom do these children know, that in some cases, they may be setting themselves up for serious problems if they are not careful. The person on the other end seems to be interested in developing that “friendship.” Children are trusting for the most part, and as the “friendship” develops they will pour their hearts out, to this now trusted friend. It does not take long for an online predator to convince the child that they are to be trusted and can actually help them with their innermost problems and curiosities.” Rick Allen, with Rick Allen Programs, http://www.strangerdangerprogram.com. Allen, appears throughout the United States presenting a Stranger Danger Awareness Program.

“Predators are very good at what they do. They know exactly how to manipulate conversations. The promise of attention works for many children. Most children feel that they are alone in the world and that no one else understands them. That they are more mature then their parents and teachers think they are. This is the hook the predator is looking for in order to take advantage of them. If they think the child feels comfortable with them, they begin mentions of a sexual nature. Most children are curious by nature, they want to explore feelings and learn more, especially as they reach puberty. So the person may start to send them sexually provocative pictures and talk to them in a more “adult” sexually explicit manner because they (the predator) understands the feelings they are having.” Allen stated.

In essence, the child becomes brainwashed to abandon their normal life as a child and start growing faster than they have to. If the predator feels that they want to move the relationship to a different level, they may start making suggestions that they meet (secretly of course) in person, where they can share their feeling better. Once that happens, the child can easily be enticed to stay with that person for an indefinite period of time.

Allen points out that the age of predictors is not always an older person. “Predators are from all types of backgrounds, from rich to poor, male, female, often other children who have been lured by the predator may be used to assist in gaining the new child’s confidence. The predator may be only a few years older than the child, they can live just down the street or halfway around the world. No matter how old they are, or where they are contacting the child from, they have the ability in most cases to show up on the parents doorsteps, or nearby to meet the child face to face. Some of the perpetrators are not necessarily molesters per say, they could be bullies that the child knows, who are using the venerability of the child and predatory tactics to latter humiliate the child. In any case, they are a danger to children and pre-teens .”

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Resource box:
Rick Allen is currently studying for his Doctorate degree. For the past 25 years, he has presented a widely acclaimed Stranger Danger Awareness Program, to schools and community organizations, based on guidelines of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Allen uses a combination, entertainment such as slight of hand magic tricks and role play to present the program to children in a non-threatening memorable manner. For more information on Rick Allen, visit, http://www.strangerdangerprogram.com.This article may be freely published as long as resource box and author (Rick Allen, B.Msc.) are keep intact and not changed. We would also appreciate a quick email,rickallen@strangerdangerprogram.com, alerting us where the article is used.

This article has not been endorsed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is solely the opinion of the author.

 


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