Ga. Mom, officer warns of the danger of predators on the chat site
LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) – Lee County mother, along with law enforcement officers, try to warn parents of a website they believe predators are using to hide for children .
Lee County mother of four Courtney Carter went viral after her Live video on Facebook received over 7,000 shares.
“Our job is not to be friends with our child; our job is to protect our children, ”Carter said during the approximately 30-minute video.
She defends a local family after being marked by an experience with the website Omegle.com.
Carter wants to know how dangerous the website could be for your children.
“There is so much evil going on right now and parents, I don’t think they are aware of what our kids are exposed to,” Carter said.
Omegle’s slogan is “Talk to Strangers!” And that’s exactly what you do on it.
The site advertises itself as a “great way to meet new friends, even while practicing social distancing.”
You can chat with people around the world who have common interests just by typing in keywords, for example, history.
However, there are a few red flags, like on the homepage it says “predators are known to use Omegle so be careful” and “go to an adult site instead if that’s what you want. Which then brings you to a cam site.
Carter said one of her children was familiar with the website after seeing it on another child’s phone, but luckily her child never used it.
“We allow our kids to be unattended on games, on social media, on apps, trusting them a lot more than we should,” Carter said.
Carter said she’ll never say her family can’t fall victim to online predators, but she does offer a few suggestions that work for her family or what she’s heard works well for other families.
For example, she said it was okay to let your child’s phone charge overnight in the parent’s or guardian’s room. This gives you a chance to check it out, make sure everything is okay, and stay out of trouble during the night hours.
Additionally, she said her family uses the SaferKid app for added security.
Carter also recommends talking to your mobile carrier to see what they can offer when it comes to mobile security and restrictions.
But more importantly, Carter said you should have conversations with your kids about the dangers of being in the digital world.
She said she had an open line of communication with her children.
“I also want my children to be able to come see me to chat, talk and share. So it’s important to be tough on expectations, but also to make sure you open up those lines of communication so that your child feels comfortable, ”Carter says.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is currently conducting three active investigations into Omegle.com. All these cases concern minors, according to investigators.
Lt. Daphne Lindsey of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit said Omegle was not a site they had investigated much.
“We haven’t had a lot of it,” Lindsey said.
However, she said, on average, the sheriff’s office typically locates and catches around 80% of people who use sites like Omegle, Snapchat and others to prey on children. However, this is not among the reported cases.
Lindsey said there could be a variety of reasons, including people just not reporting it.
She said they caught crooks in other countries, but also as close to home as Lee County and Albany.
Lt. Lindsey said law enforcement is able to recover a lot of information that you may think has been lost forever.
However, it is extremely important that parents and children are transparent and cooperative with law enforcement when it comes to disclosing information and your phone.
Lindsey said that once you are aware of the situation report it immediately because in a digital world, investigations quickly become urgent.
She said that when it comes to catching scammers, “the most important part is that we have a good relationship with who reports it.”
As a parent herself, Lindsey believes kids just don’t need a phone.
“My children don’t have a cell phone. I don’t really know when I will have the courage to give them the cell phone because I see these cases every day, ”said Lindsey.
But Lindsey knows that just isn’t a reality for most people in 2021 and has said she won’t tell you how to raise your kids. Instead, she offers advice from a law enforcement officer with over a decade of frontline experience.
Lt. Lindsey said it’s extremely important to monitor your child’s online footprint and always have an open line of communication with them, and utilize downtime, such as car trips, as an opportunity to have conversations and teach your children about the danger of strangers.
“It’s good to tell your kids about pedophiles, it’s good to tell them about the bad guys who are on the Internet,” Lt. Lindsey said.
She also recommends that you research which apps and websites your child can use.
Lt. Lindsey has given us several websites that you can use to help protect your child, which are listed below.
Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.