Beware of Internet Predators - PSA from El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson
September 16, 2016
In an attempt to combat and bring awareness to cyber sexual predators, scam artists and bullying, District Attorney Vern Pierson has produced this webisode on how to protect you and your loved ones.
The internet provides an environment for sexual predators who can use anonymity to their advantage. Online predators and pedophiles are able to communicate with one another and exchange seduction techniques and secrets how to avoid law enforcement detection. To find their victims, sexual predators prey and infiltrate chat rooms, gaming cites, and social media platforms. Once victims are identified, the predator often lures them for a physical meet up, which can lead to kidnapping, human trafficking and exploitation up to and including sexual violence.
Online predators can also take the form of "cyber bullies" where teens and adults use online platforms to bully, intimidate and ruin a person's reputation. Their tactics can include inappropriate pictures that are real or perceived, false accusations, and threats of violence. Cyber bulling, particularly among the youth, can lead to deep psychological scars which can lead to teen suicide.
Financial scammers have also turned the internet into a virtual playground with unlimited supply of potential victims, especially the elderly. These scammers contact victims under false pretenses utilizing their honed and refined scamming abilities. Once contact is made they draw out information from victims and later use this information to empty bank accounts, get approved credit, and make online purchases. These crimes have caused billions of dollars in losses to victims and taxpayers.
Please watch this webisode to protect yourself, your family and your friends. Remember, "if you see something, say something."