A Kentucky mom livestreamed a video addressed to her Facebook followers, which has been viewed hundreds of times.
She told her followers that she found out that her daughter had been communicating with someone who was claiming to be a 12-year-old girl through Pinterest. Police told her later that it was likely a sexual predator, attempting to groom her daughter for a face-to-face meeting.
According to the woman, her daughter left her phone at home while attending school in early February. As she sat down to rest, the phone started to vibrate. She checked her daughter's phone and found messages through Pinterest. She found sexual messages addressed to her child supposedly from another 12-year-old girl.
She realized that something was wrong and contacted the sheriff's office. An officer was sent to her house right away. The officer said "her daughter was likely talking to an adult man from overseas."
Pinterest is not a message platform. The only way you can exchange images and videos is to create a board where they can be shared. The mother said the perpetrator created a private board that only he and her daughter could view.
By the time the mother figured this out, the board had been deleted. Her daughter said no videos or photos were sent. When the mother asked her daughter why she didn't say anything, the daughter said she didn't know.
The mother's friend, a counselor, explained that her daughter feels shame. Although the conversation the daughter had online did not seem right to her, she didn't think she had to tell her mom about something that another "12-year-old girl" was telling her. The girl did not think that she was talking to a grown man.
The woman took a photo of the officer who came to her house and posted it in a private board to the perpetrator with a message to stop contacting the account. But this, she said, did not stop the perpetrator.
In fact, he continued trying to contact her daughter and even tried to create two more chat boards with her daughter, but she declined those.
The mother said that it is important to report the information first before deleting or blocking anything on social media accounts so that you can provide evidence.
She reminded her followers that, "Once you block the person, the whole chat will go away." She said you should contact authorities first and look for private boards first before blocking or deleting.
The detective and digital forensic examiner with the attorney general's Cyber Crime Division said, "Don't delete these conversations. Get these conversations to the police. We will download them and use them as evidence in a potential prosecution." Kyle Woosley "Mom warns of cyber child exploitation"www.news-graphic.com (Feb. 23, 2021).