Naked pictures and sex offenders online ! You won't believe what our investigation found can happen when your kids play video games ! And just how long could it take for a bad guy to join your kid playing? Hank Investigates!
When parents hear those sounds..they know their kids are deep into an online video game
That's what Philip figured when he heard his four year old nephew playing--but like some other grown-ups, Philip didn't realize Jason wasn't playing the online game by himself, a cyber-stranger had joined in and sent little Jason two pictures that are so pornographic we couldn't possibly show you.
"For a four year old to see that? It’s not right."
Experts say it happens because many video games – no matter what they’re rated - can be hooked up to play through the internet.
Since that lets a child connect with other players, a predator could be online with your kids…talking to them, texting them, sending photos, and with a web cam - even appearing in person!
We wanted to see for ourselves--so we created an account, went online and began playing a game. In less than half an hour a player asked if we wanted to see " clean pics or naughty pics?" A different player asked “love to have your naked picture, love.”
Kevin Swindon, FBI
"There are predators, pedophiles out there, who are looking to do harm to children and they may use these mediums to get access to them. If that's where the kids are, thats where the threats could be."
In 2011 this woman plead guilty to traveling from Michigan to New York to have sex with a 16 year old boy she met on an online video game.
And in March an upstate New York man plead guilty to meeting and sexually abusing a 12 year old boy he met via Xbox.
Soon after, the New York Attorney General unveiled "Operation Game Over." Seven major video game companies including Sony, Apple and Disney--agreed to yank the gaming privileges of registered sex offenders. So far the companies say they’ve found more than thirty-five hundred of them!
Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General
“This initiative protects the most vulnerable part of our population.”
But—listen to this, parents--not in Massachusetts! Even though a federal law now requires states to pass legislation requiring sex offenders to give the state their email addresses and gamer tags --Massachusetts law makers are still arguing over the details.
In the meantime - kids like Jason are being robbed of their innocence.
As a result of our inquiry, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office tells me it’s now reviewing the state's options for oversight of sex offenders and on-line video games. As a parent there are two important things you can do: Take advantage of the games’ parental control settings and closely monitor what your kids are doing.
For more information on video games and your children check out “Family Friendly Video Games”:
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