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24 men arrested for attempting to lure minors through the use of video games

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced that 24 men in one state were arrested for communicating with and attempting to lure minors through the use of social media and video games. Parents should be monitoring their kids' internet activity due to the chat functions on extremely popular games such as Fortnite and Minecraft.

The arrests were in result of a week-long, collaborative, multi-agency law enforcement operation called “Operation Open House.” Each individual under arrest was caught individually lurking on social media in search of vulnerable, underage boys or girls to sexually assault only to arrive at a meeting place to discover they were actually conversing with law enforcement. Among those arrested were a police officer, nurse, firefighter, college students, and a registered sex-offender. Veronica Allende, director of the division of criminal justice for the state of New Jersey, announced that one man even travelled more than 90 miles to meet up with his potential victim.

In a press conference, the attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, spoke to the many social media apps and games used by these sexual predators such as Fortnite, Minecraft, Tinder, Grindr, Live.ly, Musical.ly, Whisper, Skout, Omegle, Chat Avenue, Chat Roulette, Paltalk, Yubo, Kik, Hot or Not, Down, and many more, warning parents, “It’s absolutely critical for parents to familiarize yourselves with these apps, just as you are vigilant about a stranger approaching your child in a park, you need to be equally if not more vigilant about the dangers lurking in these new cyber playgrounds.”

We at Sure Basics recommend that you make sure that the apps on your children’s devises are age appropriate. Talk to your children about social media and games/apps like these. Let them know that the people they encounter may not be who they are. Warn them not to share personal information or pictures with strangers they encounter on the internet. Only together can we ensure the safety of our children.