Social media has allowed us to connect to our friends and family like never before. It has also opened up a Pandora’s Box of fraud, harassment, and blackmail cases from online predators. They target impressionable children and use their powers of persuasion to get money.
One family in India has learned a valuable lesson about these new digital predators. Click through to read their horrifying story that’ll have you questioning whether or not to keep Facebook.
10. Impressionable Internet Targets
As a parent, it’s more important than ever to track your kids’ Internet habits. There are so many important tools to block websites available. But there is only so much they can do to protect your children from strangers with dangerous intentions. The parents in #9 learned a valuable lesson.
9. These Are Not Your Real Friends
For some people, social media an important tool for business practices and for others it’s the perfect way to stay in touch with friends. A 13-year-old boy in Bengaluru, India has discovered the wonders of social networking. He became addicted to Facebook and started accepting and requesting friend invitations from people he didn’t know.
8. Secretly Filming And Sending
His reckless behavior has now put his parents in a precarious situation. The boy accepted a request from a strange man in June of 2016. The unknown man asked the boy to videotape his mother and father while they were making love. The man does something terrifying with the videos in #7.
7. Once It’s Online It’s There Forever
The strange man is known as “Tejal Patel” on Facebook and he used the inappropriate videos of the boy’s parents for blackmail. He told the young boy he would release the video to major pornography sites if he was not paid Rs 1 crore (around 150,000 U.S. dollars).
6. To Catch An Online Predator
The young boy’s parents say the man also regularly sent their son child pornography and other nude photos and obscene material for the next year. He also performed disgusting sex chats with their son. The boy’s father did what he had to do to catch this predator in #5.
5. Digital Law Enforcement
He reported the incidents to the Cyber Crime police who immediately set out to track down this vile individual. Finding him was going to take some time since cybercriminals are notorious for covering their tracks. Knowing there were private videos of him and his wife had to be among the most nerve-wracking moments of his life.
4. Telling His Father Everything
The threats began as soon as the videos were sent to Tejal Patel. The young boy finally went to his father and told him everything. “The teenager realized the gravity of the situation only then, approached his father and told him everything,” said an official. He explained how they would track the culprit in #3.
3. Time To IP Address The Issue
“The father filed a complaint with us and we are trying the track the accused through his/her IP address,” the official continued. An IP address is a number that associates your computer with your exact location. It’s an important tool for law enforcement to find and locate cybercriminals.
2. Erasing Your Browsing Tracks
Cyber criminals know how to get around these tracking technologies. Software called Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are widely available and not that expensive. VPNs allow your computer to reroute your IP address to another network anywhere around the globe. An experienced criminal would be able to create one themselves. The family learned a lot about the accused in #1.
1. Educate Yourself To Stay Safe
Authorities say the man going by the name of “Tejal Patel” has harassed and/or blackmailed other children in the past. The father believes his son’s addiction to Facebook landed their family in trouble. Let this be a lesson to those who do not monitor their young children’s Internet activity.