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Predators using popular video game to lure children

Photo: MGN Online


CHATHAM, Ill. (WRSP) — A warning for parents, as predators are using a popular video game to lure and target kids.

The multi-player video game called Fortnite is extremely popular among youth. Local law enforcement want parents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Especially since players aren't always who they seem to be, especially online.

"You can be lured in and trapped. There's not a reset button; it's for real," Concerned parent, Tammy Pierson said.

"Predators are out there - they are everywhere, they are sneaky," Retired teacher, Stephanie Sowter said.

Chatham police are urging parents to monitor their children's online activity.

"Our colleagues out in New Jersey did a sting out there. They discovered that there were a multitude of child predators using the video game Fortnite," Village of Chatham officer Dave Leach said.

Some parents said they're very familiar with Fortnite and other online games. "Oh yes! And Roblox - my daughter personally plays Roblox," Pierson said.

Pierson said she's seen the shady profiles first hand. "Whenever my daughter and her friends are playing online together, there's always someone that looks a little suspicious," Pierson explained. "Like their language is not appropriate at times."

Police said any game with interpersonal communication, there's a risk of exploitation.

"I don't like it one bit because there are predators and they will go to no ends to do that," Sowter said.

While Fortnite is very popular, the most important thing parents can do is talk to their kids about internet security.

"So I'm like, what's that person's name? They say they're how old? I ask questions and that's what you have to do with your kids. You got to ask questions and be involved," Pierson said.

Authorities said along with Fortnite, there are several apps predators use, even posing as teenagers to communicate with minors.

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