Online predators: The dangers of gaming

Local News

Twenty-four men were recently arrested in New Jersey after allegedly trying to lure minors for sex.

Investigators say the men started conversations through popular apps and video games like Fortnite and Minecraft. 

Fortnite is one of the most popular video games available right now. The game can be played on just about every platform including mobile devices.

“When we are communicating with people in online format, you don’t know who it is that you are talking to, people can be whoever it is that they want to be on the internet,” said Laura Meltzer from Metro police. 

The games have a direct message feature and allows people to communicate with each other. It also allows predators to talk to potential victims. 

“I have a 12-year-old. She’s not allowed to have Facebook or Instagram without my permission. So that’s very important to me, you know, keeping track of my kids,” said parent Rosa Lopez.

Authorities say some of those arrested in New Jersey posed as a younger person to gain kids’ trust.

“Speaking for myself, I think there should be rules and boundaries to your children having social media,” said Lopez.

Officer Meltzer urges parents to set ground rules. She recommends never sharing personal information or pictures and to only play with people you know in real life. 

“Sometimes we will get parents who think that they’re being a little too nosy, but it is the job of parents to take care of our kids and to be nosy and to ask the tough questions,” said Meltzer.

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