Cyber crime targets juveniles in Bowling Green - | SoKY Community, Events, Weather


Cyber crime targets juveniles in Bowling Green

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On Saturday, Bowling Green City Schools put an important message on their website from Bowling Green Police Department about a possible cyber crime involving multiple student victims. 

On Friday, a parent contacted the police and reported his or her child may be the victim of online sexual exploitation.

The parent told police the child was communicating with someone claiming to be a female on a popular app called Snapchat.

"What was happening was there was a person who was representing themselves as a female and had sent some photos to several of the juveniles and they in turn had sent photos of themselves. These are inappropriate images that they were sending back and forth." says Ronnie Ward, with the Bowling Green Police Department.

Right now police believe there could be multiple victims who may have sent pictures to the same perpetrator. 

What these perpetrators can do with these photos is even more frightening. 

"They get these pictures from these young boys, young girls, and they use them to continually extort these children for money or for more pictures. They either sell of trade these pictures with other pedophiles in their group or pedophile ring." says Mike Lemon, the owner of Millstone Labs.

Millstone Labs tells us these types of images are gold to pedophiles. They have multiple tactics they use to try to get these images from young children.

"They have two tactics, one is kind of what happened here. They try to pretend to be someone else, a girlfriend, a boyfriend. Then once they get these pictures they pull the curtain down. The other is very aggressive it is very do this or will hurt your family." adds Lemon.

Unfortunately, once images are sent they can be duplicated immediately and travel across the globe in just seconds. When these images get on the internet, they never go away, which could affect many in the future.

"Not only are you worried about the pedophiles, but also your career. 5, 10 years from now you're trying to get a job somewhere and the first thing an employer does is put your name in Google and press go and they see what they see. We have had a number of children who have turned into adults and gone through college and have to deal with that while they are trying to actually get a job. Their nude pictures are now on the internet and their names are associated with it." adds Lemon.

In a recent survey, about 50% of 6th-12th grade students in Warren County and Bowling Green said they have sent nude pictures to strangers when asked for them.

Millstone Labs tells us the best way to prevent sexual exploitation is education for parents and children.

If you feel like your child may be a victim, please contact the Bowling Green Police Department immediately.

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Bowling Green, KY 42101

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