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Internet investigators crack down on cyber-crime

Source: News 8 Austin
By Natasha Allen
Date: July 19, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime Who is lurking behind that screen name?

Thanks to modern technology, it's remarkably easy for a child predator to get into your home, and your children could be helping open the door.

The Attorney General's office aims to stop that situation from ever happening. They are turning the tables and luring in the suspected bad guys, before they can get to your child.

Investigators with Attorney General Greg Abbott's Internet Bureau pose as young teenagers in chat rooms to try and make cyberspace a safer place for kids.

"I'll tell them my age, I'll describe myself. They always want to know your breast size, your bust size," one investigator who asked to remain anonymous said.

Since May, the Attorney General's office has arrested seven men accused of trying to lure children into sexual rendezvous.

The past two arrests occurred this week in San Marcos. On Friday, investigators arrested Daniel Robert McCarthy, 42, a north Austin man who works at IBM's north campus.

Two days earlier, on Wednesday, Christopher Pacheco, 31, a Southwest Texas State University employee was arrested. They say an investigator met him in a chat room and exchanged messages for two days before Pacheco asked to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Investigators say Pacheco told them where he worked, what kind of job he did, the kind of car he drove, and his age

"The only thing he did not say is that he had a family. He said he was single," the investigator said.

"If just a handful of investigators have arrested six people in just the last two months, think how many occasions are occurring in chat rooms across the state of Texas where people are trying to set up sexual liaisons with little teenagers," Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

Since May, Abbott's office has been specifically focusing on this kind of crime.

"If you are on the Internet, thinking that you are engaging in a chat with a little 13-year-old girl like we have done in the past, and think you are going to set up a sexual liaison with that little girl, you, too, could be arrested," Abbott said.

Abbott adds that children should know it's a bad idea to give out any personal information about themselves that could lead a path to their front door.

Original article: http://www.centralmaine.com/news/stories/030719computer.shtml

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