Local women and children being sexually solicited on Facebook

Published: May. 20, 2016 at 9:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2016 at 6:21 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Parents and Facebook users beware of local people targeting women and even young girls.

Facebook is a great outlet to connect with family and old friends, but it also gives another source for predators to lurk. Just this week, Amarillo women have seen an increase in those lurkers and one solution for some may be as simple as a few clicks.

You have a new message. But it's from a complete stranger.

Do you act on it, or not?

In the Amarillo area, men have been sending random women messages asking if they would like to prostitute themselves, as they give a detailed message on prices and services.

But it's not just women. They have begun sending the same messages to underage girls.

"Anytime that you have anybody online that's under 17, you have them have sex with somebody or with you, it's going to be a third degree felony," says APD Public Information Officer Jeb Hilton. "If that person is under 14 years old, it's going to be a second degree felony."

"Sadly we see it all the time with where these men will prey upon the young girls, those that are vulnerable whether it's to...this guy is being a little more direct and a little more bold than some of them we've seen in the past because it's blatant what he's wanting them to do for him," says Traci Rogers with No Boundaries International of Amarillo.

One fix is quite simple. Block any strangers from sending you messages in your privacy settings. One click, and you're done.

Officials also want parents to pay closer attention to their children's social media activity.

"As a parent, you should always have access to your kids' sites. I mean if they're on Facebook, you should know their password, you should be able to get on, check what they're doing," says Hilton.

"There's nobody in their life that's checking them, checking their friends, seeing what they're doing," says Rogers. "For some there are, but they don't want to have those hard conversations with their children, they don't want to make them aware of what could happen. And so we have to start communicating with our children and letting them know the reality of what's out there."

If you have received a message like this, don't just talk about it. You are asked to report it to the police, so they can help do away with the problem.

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