CHILD sex predators are capable of reaching your child via their Xbox, mobile phone and any other technology which connects to the internet, south-west parents have been warned.
Warrnambool sexual offences and child abuse investigation team (SOCIT) is investigating an incident where a south-west child exposed their body over the internet to a man believed to be in America.
In another incident, a south-west girl was approached on Facebook by a person claiming to be one of the performers at the recent Fun4Kids Festival and asked the girl for naked pictures.
In the first incident, Sergeant Chris Asenjo from SOCIT said the child was playing on an Xbox in the family home. The family was in the house when the child was approached online by the man who made contact via a headset and text messages
The man developed a rapport with the child within an hour while the two played video games.
The man told the child he was an FBI agent who would hack into the child’s parents’ computer if a photo was not supplied.
“We are very close to identifying the man,” Sergeant Asenjo said.
“Video games are now the domain of child sexual predators.
“In fact it’s any device which is connected to the internet.”
Sergeant Asenjo said the grooming by sexual predators could be a lot quicker online and parents needed to be more proactive.
“Normally they will befriend a child and when they think they have them where they want them, they’ll make their move,” he said.
“This child was threatened if they didn’t send the images the man would get the child’s parents.
“Parents need to know who their children are talking to. They need to be all over what their kids are doing online and that is on their iPhone, iPad, computers and games consoles.
“A sexual predator will make an approach online and that is either accepted or rejected.
“They use some common ground to make a connection, if they’re refused they just move on.
“There can be a week of chit-chat and then they can ask for a photo. There is a level of anonymity on the internet.
“If you don’t know the person personally, then you simply don’t know who you are dealing with.
“Anything posted on the internet is there forever.
“If a parent even thinks someone has spoken to their child they need to call the police, even if it’s just for advice.”