JEFFERSEN CO., Colo. (ABC 4 News) – If you monitor your teenager’s internet and cell phone activity, you may be missing something. Your children may be sending hidden messages to random strangers through texting apps.
If you think you know what your kids are doing on their phones, you may want to think again.
"I was trying to be so vigilant watching her activities," said a mother who spoke to KMGH’s Ana Cabrera.
A Colorado mom who doesn't want to be identified said she found her daughter flirting with danger. The mom had been monitoring her daughter's texts and thought everything was okay. But had no idea she had downloaded a separate texting app and was having graphic conversations with a complete stranger.
"They were asking sexual questions, asking for pictures," said the mother.
Detective Mike Harris with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said these texting apps give kids a place to hide what they're doing.
"Parents aren't aware of them, and so kids are using those applications to communicate in a manner that their parents will never ever know about because most parents don't go through every single app," said Det. Mike Harris, Jefferson Co. Dist. Attorney
He said the most popular apps are: Text Free, Text Now and Text Plus, and they're the latest way criminals can get access to your kids. For example, video shows a man seen in a red truck who thought he was meeting a teenage girl for sex. Instead, it was an undercover detective.
Police said these types of predators are popping up more often than you think.
"So, you may think you're on top of it, but you're not on top of it," said the unidentified mother.
The mom caught her daughter's texting activity before anything serious could happen, and is now encouraging her daughter to be more careful.
"Unless you physically know that person that you're talking to. And you have gotten that phone number from them, you should not talk to them – period," the mother said.
It's a conversation she hopes every parent and child will have together.