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(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Central Illinois law enforcement warns of child sex trafficking dangers on social media | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

It’s something parents might not think about, but child sex trafficking could be happening in your community.

Law enforcement in Central Illinois want people to know child sex crimes and trafficking do happen locally. And in many cases, predators use the internet to target children.

“Yeah it definitely happens in Champaign County, and it also happens in other communities—whether it’s large or small,” said Lt. Curt Apperson, head of investigations for the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. “And the thing that concerns law enforcement is a lot of these things aren’t reported.”

A warning in a Facebook post from Chatham Police: Parents need to be aware of the reality of child sex trafficking through social media.

Last June Paxton Police began an undercover operation to target child predators. Police say 22 reports have been filed from the operation and all alleged offenders are from central Illinois.

Over time sex trafficking has evolved, and it doesn’t always involve kidnapping as many may think.

“It could start out small like ‘Hey I could take you to get a movie;’ ‘oh you like that shirt, I’ll get you that shirt,’ and kind of building it up from there to ultimately control them in some capacity, and you know to sell them sexually,” explained Apperson.

According to the Chatham Police post, child sex trafficking can also be offering money for inappropriate photos and offering discounts on drugs and other products if they send explicit photos or preform sexual acts.

To keep your kids safe, law enforcement highly recommends parents keeping an eye on their child’s technology.

“Monitor their social media–that is the biggest thing right now. The whole thing that they communicate over—monitor the social media, monitor the phones,” said Apperson.

Lieutenant Apperson continued to say many that are targeted by predators are runaways as they are vulnerable. He explained that warning signs of someone being trafficked may be changes in mood, lying, not dressing appropriately for weather or age, being timid around people, and deflecting questions.

Law enforcement also states that the majority of the time victims of child sex trafficking often know their predator.

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