An impactful video created by the Maine State Police and NESCOM gives a realistic example of a minor being lured by an online predator.

It's So Easy for Kids and Teens to Trust That They're Talking to a Peer

June is Internet Safety Month, when residents, especially parents, are reminded of the importance of being smart online. Kids face constant danger, including when using gaming platforms that appear to be populated by young people. One of the many scary aspects of the internet is that you can be whoever you want to be, including being an adult who's claiming to be a minor.

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The Video Starts Innocently Enough But Turns Dark Very Quickly

Maine State Police, in cooperation with the New England School of Communications, created this video to demonstrate how quickly someone can put a child in a bad situation. What starts as an innocent conversation with what's believed to be another teen becomes dark and disturbing when the predator shows their true intent.

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It's An Important Video for Young People So They Can Understand the Peril Online

Officials encourage adults to show this video to young people and remind them not to trust anyone online. As it says in the video, there were over 36 million reports of child exploitation reported last year to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It only takes an average of seven minutes for a predator to lure a child into a compromising situation, so they need to be aware of the dangers.

In Maine, 263 search warrants were executed last year and 425 investigations were completed into the exploitation of children, so it's not something that only happens in 'other states.' Sexploitation is happening here, as well. If you or someone you know has been approached by a predator online, contact your local police department or the Maine State Police.

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