How Predators Work

In the animal world, predators often look for weak or wounded prey. Lions will separate out weaker or injured animals from the herd in order to make an easy kill.

Internet predators work the same way. They look for kids who are lonely, angry and hurting. They offer friendship and become a "best friend" in order to establish trust. If you are hurting, angry and don't have "real-life" friends you can turn to, you are in danger. How can you tell the difference between a real friend you met online and a predator? You should learn to instantly recognize warning signals and when you see them, run!

Who do predators look for?
  • Predators look for weak kids who need friendship.
  • Predators look for kids who are new Internet users, who don't know enough to be suspicious.
  • Predators look for kids who are angry with their parents or their school.
  • Predators use interests like music or games as an "in" to get to know their prey.
  • Predators offer friendship, gifts and are good at getting you to trust them.
What are the warning signs of an online predator?
  • When someone sends you an image and wants a photo of you in return you should be concerned. Anyone who sends photos or asks for photos that are sexual in nature should be reported to the police.

    CC: License - - And no, that's not me. I just found this photo on the Internet.(Warning: Don't be fooled by photos you get. You didn't think that dirty old man was going to send you his REAL photo did you? He'll send a photo of someone you'd like as a friend. It's easy to get photos on the Internet, like the picture on the right, that's me, really, it is! Don't you believe me?)
  • Be suspicious of anyone who wants to know personal information about you like your address, phone number or where you go to school. Predators can be tricky. If they know where you go to school and your last name, they can look up your address in the phone book.
  • Any invitation to meet in person or to talk over the phone should ring alarm bells in your head.
  • Follow your instincts. If someone makes you uncomfortable in any way, trust your feelings and stop all contact.

Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012, 10:50 PM