More Teen Girls Meeting With Online Strangers - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

More Teen Girls Meeting With Online Strangers

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WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - Parents listen up! Safety experts are now sounding the alarm on a shocking study, revealing the risky behaviors your kids may be engaged in with complete strangers.

Their messages seem friendly, and their compliments may be a bit flirty, but that wall of protection disappears once online chatting results in face-to-face contact.

"I did see a girl once upon a time who met a man online and went to meet him and he turned out to be a serial killer. He locked her in a trailer and was trying to kill her and she got away," said psychologist Kathy Seifert, with the Eastern Shore Psychological Services.

According to a new study, 30 percent of teen girls actually meet up with online strangers. Experts say the guys they're talking to are after vulnerable teens.

"They're also going to be looking for someone willing to talk about sex on the internet. it's a conversation parents need to have with their children," said Seifert.

Local law enforcement say they see this kind of activity more now than ever before.

"As a parent myself, I'm always cognoscente of who my teenage children are talking to, whether it's on the internet or through text messages," said Lt. Tim Robinson, with the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department.

Experts suggest putting the computer in a common area, and not the child's bedroom. They also say to set up parental controls, or download software that blocks certain websites.

Most importantly, open the lines of communication. Let them know that teen dream they think is behind the screen could be a dangerous predator.

Your first inclination might be to spy on your kids' internet activity, but experts warn that is the worst thing you can do. Taking that course of action can actually shut down communication between parents and children, so experts recommend you be open with your kids about your concerns.

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