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Social Media used to lure trafficking victims

Posted at 6:17 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 19:20:27-04

TULSA — Predators could be just an app away, lurking.

Law enforcement encourages parents to make sure they know what apps their kids are using.

Executive Director of DaySpring Villa Susan Cox says a lot of apps kids may download, may seem innocent, but they can be used by people to exploit them.

Cox says kids will many times seek attention from strangers on social media when they lack attention at home.

Cox says women affected by trauma and human sex trafficking aren't usually picked up on the street.

"When they are able to tell their story it's not, 'I was scooped up off the street in a van with a man who kidnapped me it was I was lonely," Cox said.

Cox also says it's the same situation when it comes to teenagers being sex trafficked.

"There wasn't really anybody to talk about at my house," said Cox. "I didn't have friends at school, so I went on social media. Through that social media app, they find online friends and the picture they see online is not the reality."

Case Manager Jessica Brown says apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat can also be used by adults with the wrong intentions

"A lot of the apps that are being used for kids, are also being used by individuals who are stalking their victims in order to be able to find their location find the location of their children," Brown said.

Brown says building a relationship with your you child and having open conversations is important.

"Being mindful of what your kids are doing and not only that but being present," said Brown. "All the guests that I have worked with in some capacity, their parents weren't present there may have been substance abuse in the home."

If you or someone you know needs help, go to this link here.

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