Predators using mobile apps for sex trafficking - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Predators using mobile apps for sex trafficking

Source: CBS Source: CBS
Source: CBS Source: CBS
Source: CBS Source: CBS
Source: CBS Source: CBS

Mobile apps are becoming a popular tool for sex traffickers and putting children at risk of becoming victims. 

Whether its apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Whisper or Kik, there are plenty of mobile apps giving sex traffickers easy access children.

Traffickers use these apps to lure in both boys and girls.

Predators can easily make fake profiles and befriend children and draw them into sex trafficking rings.

"This is local," activist Tifannie Gipson said. "This is very local. Predators try and come in as a friend and find something in common with the kids. Once the friendship is started, predators build it up and then the solicitation begins over time." 

Gipson says 12-and-13-year-olds are the typical targets.

"What we see the traffickers do is target young impressionable boys and girls through these social apps," Gipson said. 

Predators also use Facebook and even games to try and talk to them.

"You can put all sorts of safe guards on your Internet at home on your cellular services but kids always find a way around that," Gipson said.

Gipson encourages parents to learn about the type of apps and games their child visits as well as talk with their child about online sex trafficking.

"Our youth are disconnected from parents, absolutely disconnected," Gipson said. "I am not saying before social media parent child communication was better but at least the market of preying on children wasn't as easy."

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