The state of New Jersey announced yesterday that it had completed a huge sting of child sex predators, resulting in twenty-four arrests. In their article covering the announcement, NJ.com says Attorney General Gurbir Grewal “warned the public that people looking to take advantage of young teens and children have more options to do so than ever due to the ever-developing landscape of internet communication.”
“It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable,” he added, describing how the suspects, all men, and including a police sergeant, had approached their prey. The sting operation was put into action by detectives with New Jersey State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who were posing as 14 and 15-year-old boys and girls.
Attorney General Grewal said the alleged child predators were communicating through apps like Kik, Wishbone, Tumblr and even video games like Fortnite, Minecraft and Discord. Since the video game Fortnite is so explosively popular with young children and has a chat feature, parents should be especially concerned.
“These arrests serve as a sobering reminder that parents should closely monitor their child’s online activity,” State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said Tuesday.
“It’s critical that parents talk to their children about social media and chat apps to let them know that the people they encounter may not be who they initially seemed to be,” Attorney General Grewal added.