Eight-year-old girl targeted by child predator on Roblox, mother wants this to be a lesson
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Roblox is a popular game among the younger generation, but not without its faults.
Nationwide, people have had problems with their children running into inappropriate content while using the app.
One local mother in Wilmington ran into the exact same problem with her eight-year-old daughter. A child predator asked her for her phone number over the chat feature on Roblox, and the conversation got even worse over text messaging.
“He kept asking her for hot videos and I mean, she would send just like an innocent picture of herself or like an innocent video,” said Kaitlin Clarke, the girl’s mother. “But you could tell like he kept saying more that wasn’t what he was looking for.”
Clarke says she has parental controls on all of her kids electronics, but this was a shock when she found the messages on her daughter’s phone. She bought her a cell phone in the first place to keep her safe if she was in a scary situation, but it ended up doing the opposite.
“I was one of those parents that didn’t want to get my child a cell phone till she turned 16,” she said. “But with the way everything in the world is these days, it’s like she needs a way to contact me or her dad or somebody if something happens.”
Experts with the FBI Charlotte Division say that it comes down to being aware of what your child is doing at all times. That includes putting strict privacy settings on their phones and tablets, and disabling any chat features on apps like Roblox.
“Inappropriate photos are not taken in the living room, they’re not taken in the bonus room,” said FBI Charlotte Division Public Affairs Specialist Shelley Lynch. “They’re taken in a child’s bedroom, or in the bathroom. Children really have to understand that they don’t know who they’re really talking to online.”
Some tips that they have to offer:
- Monitor your child’s games and apps: If they’re playing games like Roblox, you should be familiar with the games and know what to expect.
- Put privacy settings on their electronics: Most apps, games, and electronics have parental controls on them. They suggest utilizing those and making sure they are locked so that your child can’t turn them off.
- Disabling anything of a chatting feature: In the situation with Clarke’s daughter, Roblox live chat is how the predator got access to talk to her child. They recommend turning off any feature that involves strangers being able to reach out to you.
- Speaking with your child: Experts say that you should speak with your child about the dangers of predators online. FBI Experts with the FBI Charlotte Division say that you should emphasize that they did nothing wrong by alerting you, so that they feel comfortable coming to you if a problem does arise on line.
For more tips for your children, click here.
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