**WARNING this article contains information some might find disturbing.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Parents beware. There are adults actively engaging children online. Law enforcement says the predators try to win the child’s trust and then meet them anywhere they can to engage in sexual activities.
“The days of innocently surfing the internet without consequence are long gone. The reality is that the internet can be an extremely dangerous place for our children,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.
Reyes says this problem is becoming more pervasive.
“Day and night they are preying on the most vulnerable, and they are preying on people that cannot defend themselves.”
These 13 men were charged in connection with luring minors online for sex. A recent sting in Utah County led to their arrests.
“These suspects are innocent until proven guilty,” said Reyes.
In one of the cases, the probable cause statement says a man messaged who he thought was a 13-year-old boy on Grindr and wanted to meet for oral sex.
Charging documents state another suspect used the app Whisper and told an undercover agent, who posed as a 13-year-old girl, that he wanted to have sex with her, send her nude photos and wanted to masturbate in front of each other nude.
“The fact that we have so many social sites out there and technology keeps increasing and more apps come out and more social sites, we are going to see an increase in that,” explained Jessica Farnsworth, Commander for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Law enforcement says it’s important to know what activities your children are engaging in.
“We don’t want children to be in fear, we don’t want you to be in fear, but we want everyone to have a healthy understanding of the threat that exists,” Reyes said.
Here is a current list of popular apps and websites these child predators are using:
More information can be found by clicking here.
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