Online predator warning

A CYBER safety warning has been issued after claims a number of teenagers in Busselton were contacted by an online predator through social media sites offering them drugs and sex.

A mother of a teenager who was contacted said, the person had tried to contact a number of girls, the teens she knew who were contacted did not respond to the messages but the person constantly pursued them anyway.

“The messages were very sexually explicit and the person offered them money or drugs,” she said.

Forrest MP Nola Marino, an advocate for cyber security safety, said it was important for people to keep their personal details private and use privacy controls online.

“Don’t meet people in person you’ve only first ‘met’ online,” she said.

“Talk to your parents or a trusted adult about what’s happening to you online and let them know when someone makes you feel uncomfortable – they will help you.”

Ms Marino said people should know how to block, delete and report inappropriate contact and material on every site, app or online platform.

Help and support was also available from from the eSafety Commissioner, ThinkUKnow and Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.

“It is really important that young people know they can talk to and get help from their parents or a trusted adult about what is happening to them online,” she said.

“I encourage parents to stay involved in their young people’s use of technologies, keep up-to-date with the sites they are visiting.”

Ms Marino said reassure your child that you would give them support even when they have shared something online they might regret.

“Help them to block, delete and report. There are very accessible iParent resources, advice and support on the eSafety Commissioner’s site and ThinkUKnow.

“As we’ve seen in this case, our local police will investigate reports they receive.” The warning comes after a Vasse man was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman he met through Facebook under a false name.

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.