Source: WIAT Channel 42
By S. Hauck
Date: November 19, 2003
Warning about the dare and disturbing world of Internet sexual predators. If you have children or a simple credit care, these cyber-criminals can ruin your life.
There are a few things one can do to protect their family from these truly disturbing crimes. These perverted criminals hide behind their computer screens, in hopes of staying anonymous. But these cyber-criminals are being busted by cyber-cops.
They find pleasure in some of the most twisted ways you could imagine. Internet sex predators prey on innocent children, even becoming familiar with the latest lingo, to meet their victims in chat rooms. "You wouldn't think you were talking to an adult, a person may think they're talking to another 13-year-old when in fact you may be talking to a 49-year-old man, said Lieutenant John Crane with the Birmingham police department.
Lt. Crane says it’s vital that parents know whom their children are talking to on the Internet before a predator convinces your child to meet them. "Have an open dialogue with your children where they're comfortable to come tell you this is what I'm seeing. This is what somebody's saying to me. You need to take a look at this,” said Lt. Crane.
Crane also warns adults who visit illegal child porn web site, this it’s illegal. By going to these sites you’ve stored those images on your computer, therefore breaking the law.
Also people should make sure their credit card number isn’t stolen. There are numerous cases where those stolen numbers were used access illegal web sites. "Either subscribe to this type of web site or they can take credit card numbers and construct a child porn website and have that site billed to the victim of the credit card fraud,” said Lt. Crane.
Lieutenant John Crane says he’s worked to prosecute more than 100 Internet sex predators in the past few years from Alabama to Okinawa. He responds to people on-line who request illegal images in cyber talk groups and gets information to press charges.
Because of the quick growth of this cyber-crime, Birmingham police and the Jefferson and Shelby County sheriff’s departments all have dedicated officers to combat these cyber-criminals.